The 2015 GB Pony Squad and Final Trial

The final pony trial was held at Barbury Horse Trials after the long list of 11 pony and rider combinations were announced. For the majority of these talented combinations the Barbury cross country course was galloped round in ease. Saffron Cresswell, riding Cuffesgrange Little Ric, lead from the start on a dressage score of 25.5 to win the final pony trial on a score of 28.7, just picking up 3.2 time faults on the cross country. Saffron is only 14 years of age so to win the final pony trial and still have 2 more years left in ponies is a huge achievement. Jessica Thomas, riding Another Island, finished second on a score of 29.8 and Phoebe Locke, riding Quay, finished 3rd on a score of 32.5.
Shortly after the final trial the squad was announced, the 6 riders are Saffron Cresswell, Phoebe Locke, Thomas Tulloch, Jessica Thomas, Harriet Wright and Phoebe Nicholson. They will be travelling to the FEI Pony European Championships in Malmö in Sweden for 5th-9th of August. Saffron words after she had been selected were “I was so excited when I found out I had been selected as I have put so much work in with Ric over the last 2 years to make him the pony he is today.  I’m so thankful for my amazing sponsors Payrolls UK and my trainers Zoe Sleigh and Stella Baylis. Preparing for Barbury was challenging as I knew it was going to be a fairly hilly course so I included galloping him once a week as well as working on his flatwork which obviously paid off. Once I had been selected I was looking back through old photos of when I was competing when I was much younger and seeing how far I have come in the last few years made me realise how far I might get in years to come.”
The team is supported by official Equestrian Team GBR suppliers; Dodson and Horrell, Equi-Trek, Land Rover, NAF, NuuMed, Point Two Equine, Tagg Equestrian plus clothing from Toggi.

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The 2015 Junior Long List announced: The long list for the Juniors includes 14 riders, a couple whom have 2 rides. This year the Junior riders had to compete in the 2* at Barbury which for a few riders was the first time competing at this level. The riders on the long list have also attended a training camp and the squad will be selected after Aston le Walls.
Once the squad has been selected they will be heading off to Poland where the Junior Europeans will be held from the 13th-16th of august.

Pony Club
Rider Development Pathway:
The pony club rider development pathway was held at Somerford Park on the 4th and 5th of July. There was 10 eventers who attended the camp and they ranged from competing at pre novice level to 2* level.
The eventers received lessons from Gary Parsonage on their dressage, showjumping and cross country. On top of that each rider experienced a mentoring/goal setting session with Spencer Sturmey and a balance, straightness & coordination session on and off the horse with Hilary Wakefield. The riders were videoed whilst riding through either a dressage test or over a round of showjumps and then received feedback from the video. The horses were also looked at by Claire Akers who is an equine nutritionist; the riders were then given advice on the horse’s weight and what they should be feeding.
There was also fun and games in the evening where the eventers got the best turn out with all their riders being there to participate in the various races including apple ducking, wheelbarrow races and high jump. The eventers also claim that they won the majority of the races although the dressage and showjumpers beg to differ.
Six riders were then selected to receive further training and support through the Pony club rider development pathway. The two eventers that were selected were Lucy Robinson, who competed in pony trials last year, and Katie Patrick, who has competed up to 2* on her own horse Pop The Question II whom she has had since a 5 year old.
The pony club offers great support for the youth in eventing.

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GB Rider Development Squad: a squad has been picked out of the under 18 riders to compete in the CIC* at Millstreet, Ireland at the end of august. This squad consists of some of the younger and up and coming riders in Great Britain. Competing in Ireland will give the riders a sense of international competition in preparation for future years.

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Isabella Mackenzie

Photographs Courtesy of Lucy Hall and Julian Portch

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