Team Great Britain lead the way in Achterhoek
Britain’s pony team returned triumphant in the team competition at Achterhoek in The Netherlands – but it was close. Only two faults separated them from The Netherlands’ home team in second place.
Three British girls were joined by Ireland’s Ruairi Aylward to make the quartet and the four were ably guided by Katrina Moore – Britain’s pony chef d’equipe for 20 years at the European pony championships.
Claudia Moore was pathfinder over a technical 1.25m track to come home on one time fault with Elando Van De Roshoeve. Alice Weightman and Cindy returned five faults but Georgie Wareham on Sharelle and Ruairi with Coppenagh Oliver Twist stepped up to the plate with clear rounds. The team were leading at the halfway stage on one fault, but The Netherlands were breathing down their necks on two – there was no resting on their laurels.
Claudia made no such error second time out to storm home clear on Elando, and although Alice and Cindy scored an uncharacteristic 12, Georgie bounced back with another clear on Sharelle – claiming one of only three double clears in the competition.
The Netherlands hadn’t fared so well in round two with two riders on four and the other on one fault – it was all down to the final riders. And the Dutch team put the pressure on with a clear round – Britain’s chances lay with Ruairi, he had to finish on no more than five faults with Oliver Twist to claim victory.
It was close. The pair made one mistake, but returned without further penalty to finish on four – Britain squeaked ahead, winning by two faults on a total of five. The Netherlands took second on seven faults with Ireland in third on 12.
The Brits also dominated the pony 1.15m, taking the top two places. Allana Clutterbuck topped the 16-strong jump-off with her Opglabbeek double winner Tekila Du Bary, the 10-year-old mare securing first place by jut 0.21 sec. Claudia claimed second spot with her talented Irish-bred 138cm Tullineaskey Fear Deas and also picked up seventh with a double clear on Shamrock Du Gite.
Lucinda Roche jumped into second place in the under 25 1.20m, the 10-year-old Darco mare Hebe Van’t Palmenhof finishing just 0.34 sec behind the winner, Belgium’s Tim Prouve on C Prova Z in the 17-strong jump-off.
Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy Claudia Moore