Great Britain strikes Gold at Young Rider championships
1 September 2015
6 minute read
Great Britain had a strong hold on Gold at the FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders
claiming both the team title and individual titles.
The Askham Bryan British Young Rider squad made up of Will Furlong, Ella Hitchman, Isabella Innes Ker and Emily King were in Gold medal winning position from the start and completed on a score of 121.9 – 10.5 penalties ahead of the Silver medal winners Germany. Ireland took the team Bronze medal with a score of 150.8.
Will, riding his own Livingstone, also led from the outset to claim the individual title, remaining calm under the pressure to finish on a score of 34.7. The 20 year old is the first male Young Rider to win gold since Terry Boon held the accolade in 1993, and follows on from the individual bronze medal he won at the Junior European championships in Jardy (FRA) two years ago.
His team mate Sophie Beaty, riding as an individual on her own and Alison Booth’s Stanly, claimed the
silver medal ahead of Germany’s Christoph Wahler on Green Mount Flight who took Bronze.
Ella Hitchman rode an impressive clear cross country round inside the time and show jumped clear on her own Rocky Rockstar, a 12 year old grey gelding by Rockland, to climb the ranks from her 12th place after dressage to finish in 4th place on a score of 45.2.
Bella Innes Ker also jumped double clear to finish in 8th place on Carolyn, an 11 year old bay mare by Connery owned by the Duchess of Roxburgh. They completed on a score of 48.2.
After impressive performances in the dressage and across the country, Emily King lowered three show jumps in the final phase with Loxley, an 11 year old chestnut gelding owned by Michelle Clough and Zara Porter Hill, to finish in 13th position on a score of 54.0.
Katie Bleloch riding as an individual on her own Bulano, a nine year old bay gelding by Colandro, completed the amazing form of the British combinations to finish in 15th position on a score 55.80 after show jumping clear.
British individual Sophie Beaty led the dressage rankings on a score of 36.30 with Stanly after the first day. But the standings all changed on the second day. British team mate Will Furlong overtook Sophie after posting a score of 32.70 with Livingstone on Friday. Constance Lucie Copestake and Aprobanta were awarded a mark of 40.40 put the French rider into third ahead of Germany’s Flora Reemtsma riding IIkarosz in fourth, Britain’s Emily King (Loxley) in fifth and Germany’s Julia Funtman (Contina) and Christoph Wahler (Green Mount Flight) in sixth and seventh places respectively.
After the dressage, Ella lay in 12th, Isabella in 20th and Katie in 28th, with plenty still to play for on cross country day.
A total of 21 of the 56 starters collected fence penalties and eight were eliminated over the 26-fence cross-country track set by Polish course designer, Marcin Konarski which would have an impact on the team standings.
Constance Lucie Copestake and Aprobanta, who were third after the dressage, was eliminated on the cross country after a fall at fence 6 on a day which saw the French team drop out of contention in the team standings with Stephanie Landois and Klan de Cheylac falling at fence 11 and Capucine Bourgeois with Obelix de Mail falling at fence 20.
Germany had to rely on three scores county after Pauline Knorr decided to call it a day with Abke’s Boy after refusals at fence 6 and 21.
The British young riders showed their class across country with all combinations coming home clear – Will added just two time penalties to his score to keep his lead, Sophie added 2.8 time penalties to stay in Silver medal position, Emily moved up to fourth whilst Ella moved from 12th to 6th. Bella moved up seven places to 13th with her clear round whilst Katie added just 5.2 penalties to her overnight score.
At the end of the cross country, the British team had a lead of just over 10 points over Germany in the team rankings. The departure of the French team allowed the Irish to move into third spot despite cross-country elimination for Harold Megahey and Chuckelberry. The remaining team members Cathal Daniels (Rioghan Rua), Susannah Berry (Carsonstown Athena) and Tony Kennedy (Westeria Lane) all kept a clean sheet on cross-country day.
Clear rounds for Furlong, Hitchman and Innes Ker meant the British could discount the 12 faults collected by King for an unbeatable final tally of 128.10 for the British team. And although Reemtsma picked up eight faults, both Wahler and Lisa-Marie Forster (Columbo) completed on their dressage marks to hold firmly onto silver for Team Germany.
Also reduced to a three-rider side, the Irish were boosted by a clear from Daniels, and despite four faults for Berry and 10 for Kennedy, they finished more than 16 penalty points ahead of the Swedes who added 24 to their scoreline. At the end of the day the individual scoreboard showed three of the British team, as well as individual competitor Beaty, in the top eight while Germany completed with three team-members in the top 10. Ireland’s Cathal Daniels, who started out in 17th spot, finished sixth behind Italy’s Matteo Arrighi who also completed on his dressage score with Quieto du Pin, while Britain’s Hitchman missed out on the individual podium by just three points.
Chairman of the Askham Bryan GB Young Rider Selection Committee, Alex Colquhoun commented; “We are all so incredibly proud of our riders and horses this week, everyone gelled so well and worked well together as a team. From the riders to the parents to the staff – everyone has contributed so much and we could not be more delighted with the result. We have been unlucky in the past so to lead from the start and have everything come together as it did is just fantastic.”
FEIEuropean Young Riders Team Eventing Championship 2015:
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