The British children-on-horses team finish just outside the medals in Millstreet
The British children-on-horses team finished just outside the medals in the Youth European Championships in Millstreet, Ireland, in equal fourth.
The result was close throughout. At the halfway stage, Britain sat in equal second with four other teams each on four faults, Spain taking the lead on just one time fault. And Spain maintained their form in round two, returning a zero score to deservedly take gold on one time penalty.
The pressure was piled high as the other teams fought for silver and bronze medals in a tense second round.
Pathfinder Sienna Charles, 13, cool under pressure, repeated her round one performance and pulled out another clear in round two with the nine-year-old Chaitanya 2.
Lily Freeman-Attwood, 14, improved on her round one four faults with a great clear in the second round with Mark McCourt’s 15-year-old Banana D’Ive Z.
And the pressure intensified as now only Germany and Italy sat equally with Britain. Clear rounds were vital for a medal position. Ellie Hall-McAteer and the scopey Dazzle posted an uncharacteristic four in round one, and also lowered a rail in the second round along with a time penalty for five.
It was all on Olli Fletcher’s young shoulders. He had to repeat his first round clear for Britain to join the jump-off for silver and bronze. And he looked set to deliver with the nine-year-old Temple Rebus until the penultimate obstacle fell. It was not to be. They came home on four with Britain finishing on a total of eight to take equal fourth with Hungary.
Following a jump-off, Germany claimed silver with Italy taking bronze.
The children-on-horses individual medals will be contended on Saturday with Sienna, Lily and Olli in with a medal chance.
The junior and young rider team medals will be contested on Friday with their individual medals decided on Sunday.