Team Great Britain claimed a podium place in the Children European Championships in Zuidwolde, The Netherlands with the bronze medal.
Nine teams came forward on a zero score from day one’s round and a stiffer test today saw the four girls dig deep. Just three teams – Austria, Germany and The Netherlands – remained on zero following the first round of the team competition but the Brits were hard on their heels carrying just two penalties.
It was all down to the final round of the team competition. And it was hard-fought.
Pathfinder Tabitha Kyle had already provided two clear rounds with Holly Smith’s rangy 17hh nine-year-old Grennanstown Sarco Luxhill and was determined to return a third. And she delivered it in style, belying her tender 12 years to come home on a clean sheet to give Britain a great start.
Amelie Gachoud, 14, had returned four faults in each of her initial two rounds with the 10-year-old Evito but upped her game in the second round of the teams to storm home clear.
Clear on day one, Chloe Lemieux, 13, looked to be on-song for another clear in round one of the teams but crossed the line slightly over the time on the nine-year-old Freya for one time penalty, and picked up four faults in round two.
Aimee Jones, 14, and the 15-year-old Zoverla had posted similar scores with a clean round on day one and one time fault in round one of the team competition. With the pressure on as anchor, it was vital for Aimee to return a clear in the final team round, and she did it in style.
Great Britain finished on a total of two faults to take the Bronze medal. Germany and the host nation The Netherlands were the only two teams to finish on a zero score to force a jump-off for gold and silver. After a tense, thrilling jump-off, Germany landed the gold with The Netherlands in silver.
The Individual medals for the Children will be decided on Saturday.
Will Fletcher was best of the Brits in the young riders with another clear to add to his tally on Persimmon. Clear on day one, Will and the Salute RP/Indorado 14-year-old ‘Percy’ jumped an easy clear despite the rain in the first round of the young rider team competition in the anchor position.
Leonie Aitkenhead with Jimmy Mack V Berkenbroeck and Jodie Hall-Mcateer’s Salt’N Peppa both returned on four faults while pathfinder Graham Babes unfortunately came home on nine faults with Boucheron and was the drop score. Great Britain remain in eighth place on 20.74 penalty points more than four fences behind the leaders Belgium who remain on 4.11 penalty points after adding no further points to yesterday’s score.
Individual rider Joe Stockdale and Don Diego De Plata – who nudged one brick out of the wall on day one – jumped a clean round today and made it look easy around the 1.50m track.
Text © Jumping Around & Photos © courtesy British Showjumping