Great Britain Pony team announced

The Charles Owen British National Ponies Champion is amongst the riders who have been named in the team which will represent Great Britain at the FEI Pony European Championships.

Saffron Cresswell and Cuffesgrange Little Ric have had an astounding season, with four wins to their names, including the final trial at Barbury International Horse Trials.

The Charles Owen Pony European Championship squad that will represent GB at the championships are as follows:

  • Eloise Carter, 15 from Suffolk, with her own 16 year old British gelding Alfie XI
  • Saffron Cresswell, 15 from Worcestershire, and her own 11 year old Irish gelding Cuffesgrange Little Ric
  • Molly Faulkner, 14 from Kent, with the 12 year old Irish gelding Sycamore Lad, owned by Mr John Thornton
  • Anya Kolleth, 15 from Shropshire, with her own 17 year old Irish mare Drop the Subject
  • Connie Warde-Aldam, 15 from South Yorkshire, with Miss Eloise Carter’s 15 year old gelding Craig Mor Tom

The reserves, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

  • Eloise Bartlett, 16 from Hampshire, with her own 16 year old Irish gelding Killacoran Blue
  • Lauren Booth, 15 from Gloucestershire, and her own 12 year old Irish gelding Holiday Chase
  • Niamh Warburton, 15 from Oxfordshire, on her own 8 year old Irish gelding Lydican Star

Gary Parsonage, Chairman of the British Pony Team Selectors, commented: “We are really looking forward to building on last year’s medal tally and will be working closely with this keen and talented squad to bring together a team of six combinations capable of peak performance at the right time and place, which will hopefully be good enough to win medals again.”

Great Britain is usually represented by six combinations at the FEI Pony European Championships. A sixth team member had originally been announced but British Eventing later announced there had been an error qualification verification process.

Sadly fifteen year old Pandora Briselden had not met the Minimum Eligibility Requirements on the eight year old gelding, Bramblebrough Eoghan, owned by Mrs Penny Sharpe and Pandora, meaning the combination were not qualified to compete at this year’s Championships. The error had not been detected during the entry process to the FEI which resulted in Pandora’s entry being submitted to the FEI without the necessary qualifications.

It was then decided by the BE Charles Owen Pony selectors that a replacement would not be named in Pandora’s place and a squad of five would contest the championships.

David Holmes, British Eventing Chief Executive, said; “We are extremely sad to share this news and cannot begin to understand how disappointed Pandora and her support team must be. We will do our utmost to learn from this situation and improve in this process with the FEI in future. We must up-hold our qualification restrictions and apply them and an exception or extension to the process cannot be made. Our heartfelt apologies go out to Pandora and we wish her the very best for the rest of the 2016 eventing season and hope she will be back to contend the Pony Trials and aim for qualification for the 2017 Championships.”

Gary Parsonage added; “Pandora has produced her pony with such maturity and skill rarely seen at this level and the British Pony Team Selectors have been so impressed with the degree of empathy and talent shown that we are sure it won’t be long before Pandora translates this into some medal winning performances in the near future. Pandora and her family have shown an exemplary attitude during this difficult situation and we apologise for the position that the Briselden family find themselves in. I hope that Pandora can put some of the great character she has shown into producing some more gritty competitions performances soon.”

The 2016 FEI Pony European Championships, take place in Vilhelmsborg, Denmark, from 17th – 21st August 2016.

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