The British team secured a silver medal at the pony European championships in Kaposvar, Hungary, just one fence away from gold.
Carrying a clear round with second place from the day before, pathfinder Lily Freeman Attwood looked confident with her eight-year-old British Masters JA champion Valmy De Treille. But most uncharacteristically, Lily waS unfortunately unseated and therefore posted a ‘no score’.
It was not the best of starts but the other three riders rallied. Ellie Hall McAteer, 15, posted a super clear on the feisty 19-year-old Tixylix and Fraser Reed, carrying four from day one, also returned a much-needed clear with the 14-year-old Harry. Allana Clutterbuck, the most experienced of the team with a team bronze medal in 2016 and clear on day one, incurred four faults midway on the track with Sue Evans’ Sultan Du Bary. The Brits were on a total of four going into the next round sharing the top spot with Ireland.
Dismissing any pressure, Lily, 15, dug deep to come home with just four faults in the second round of the afternoon and Ellie stormed home with another clean sheet with Tixylix. Fraser and Harry came home on four and it all rested on the shoulders of Allana in the anchor position – one fence down and Britain would have to fight for bronze in a jump-off with France. But she pulled it out of the bag with a fabulous clear on the Versailles 11-year-old Sultan, Britain had earned the silver medal.
Ireland was strong throughout. Carrying just four faults from the day before, they didn’t add any more penalties in the two rounds on Friday – helped by Harry Allen’s treble clear – to finish on a four fault total and the gold medal. The Netherlands finished on 10 for bronze.
Five riders are currently in the top spot on a zero score for the individual medals on Sunday, including Ellie, who only took over the ride on Tixylix in January from her sister Jodie. Nevertheless, ‘Tixy’ has great European championship form with 2015 team gold and individual silver (Jodie), 2012 team gold (Jess Mendoza), 2011 team gold and individual bronze (Jess) and 2007 team gold and individual silver (Zoe Adams).
Ireland’s Harry Allen is another at the top with a zero score on Cassandra Van Het Roelhof, a 15-year-old mare produced in Britain by Stephanie Babes and Graham Gillespie – who won the 2009 Hickstead JC title and finished sixth in the HOYS pony showjumper of the year – before being sold to the Allen family for Bertram.
On a total of four faults over three rounds, Faye Sutton with Robe Ruadh and Allana Clutterbuck on Sultan Du Bary lie in seventh place as they go forward to the individual competition.
Photos courtesy British Showjumping