The Junior team representing British Eventing at the FEI Junior and Young Rider Championships did Great Britain proud when they secured Team Silver earlier today.
So close was the final stages of the competition that it was just a fraction of point that decided the top two medals placings. It was Germany however who secured the Gold with their score of 81.30 penalties that put them just 4/10ths of point ahead of Great Britain on 81.70. France took Bronze with a score of 88.60 putting them almost two fences behind the leaders.
The British quartet, aged between 17 – 18 years, put in fantastic performances throughout the three days of competition to see them in the running for a medal from the outset. Finishing the cross-county yesterday in silver medal position their solid performances in the showjumping arena saw them retain this position and almost knock Germany off the pole position they had come forward in when two of the German team had a fence down in the final stages.
Anna Price, aged 18 years from Little Staughton in Bedfordshire, with the 8 year-old bay mare Keep Happy owned by her father Tim Price were the pathfinders for the team. A foot-perfect clear in the show jumping saw them return home on just their dressage score of 25.40 having also finished clear yesterday on the cross country.
The same for next to go Isabelle Cook, aged 18 years from Worthing in West Sussex, with the 11 year-old chestnut mare Mexican Law owned by Jim Chromiak. A double clear finish for them also saw them finish on their dressage score of 25.50 to keep the team on a level playing field with Germany who had also jumped clear with their first two riders.
Jasmine Underwood, aged 18 years from Inkberrow in Worcestershire, with her own 10 year-old liver chestnut mare Indian Girl G also delivered a show jumping clear to match thle eir cross country score to finish on 20.80. Their performance was enough to pull the Brits closer to pole position when the third rider for the German team lowered a pole.
Pippa Royle, aged 17 years from Devizes in Wiltshire, with the 17 year-old bay gelding Bayano owned by Rebecca Salt and Caroline Harris came forward as the youngest of the quartet. Again, clear yesterday cross country they came forward on a score of 30.50. An unfortunate touch of a pole saw them pick up 4 penalties. With the final team member for the German team also picking up 4 penalties it was literally less than half a point that separated the two.
Both Annabel and Isabelle narrowly missed out on an Individual medal when they finished in 4th and 5th place respectively, less than a point off the Bronze medal position. The results for the junior team results can be found here and the Individual placings can be found here.
For the Young Rider team things didn’t go quite as planned. A strong first day had seen them come forward at the head of the table into cross country day. The cross country saw hopes dashed when two of the team, Barnie Brotherton and Ellie Fredericks not finish due to a respective elimination and decision to retire.
It was Georgina Herrling, aged 20 from Watlington in Oxfordshire and her own 11 year-old grey gelding Cooley Now or Never competing as an Individual that the Brits had their hoped pinned on going forward. Having come forward in Individual Bronze position overnight with just her dressage score of 27.90 it was in the show jumping phase this afternoon when all three combinations saw their fortunes change. Early leader, Chloe Fagan for Ireland withdrew overnight which saw Germany’s Isabella von Roeder sitting ahead of Georgina in what as that stage Gold and Silver position.
The Young Rider showjumping course certainly asked some questions of the combinations that came forward and it was only two from the entire field that managed to achieve a penalty free round. For Georgina, it was heart-breaking 12 penalties that saw her relegated into 6th position at the end of the competition whilst early leader Isabella who had sat above her slipped even further down the line into 19th place having incurred 24 penalties.
The Junior and Young Rider teams have been supported by Mattes who are supplying their revolutionary saddle pads to all youth team riders. For decades, the Mattes team has mastered the delicate balancing act between the needs and anatomical realities of the horse, maximum functionality and quality and a stylish appearance. They are able to configurate personalised saddle pads across the entire mattes range all of which is available via their there online configurator here.
The teams have been further supported by Racesafe who are supplying all riders with a new body protector. Racesafe body protectors offer the latest European and BETA standards of protection at market-leading comfort and weight levels. More on Racesafe products can be found by visiting their website here. The riders were also generously supplied with team trot-up outfits by Holland Cooper.