Graham Gillespie, riding Veldheer II, owned by Ben Wentink were the clear winners in the second qualifying competition for the World Class Programme U23 British Championship Final that will take place at the London International Horse Show, Olympia in December 2013.
Arena UK in Lincolnshire hosted the competition, which is open to riders aged 23 years or under, and attracted 30 entries - with clear rounds from Graham Gillespie (Veldheer II), Stephen Crosby (Aramis Van Halbeek), World Class Development rider Jessica Mendoza (Classic Highfly), Laura Robinson (Cree Cruiser), Millie Allen (Bonfire III) and Sally Hopkinson (Theunis), over an up to height technical course built by Di Boddy.
In the jump-off Graham and Stephen produced clear rounds again, with Graham winning in a very quick time of 31.21 seconds, over two seconds quicker than Stephen’s time of 33.35 seconds. Jessica had a quick time of 32.93 seconds but had a fence down, leaving her in third place.
There was a total prize fund of £1650 at this qualifier, with the winner receiving £550 in prize money, and Training Vouchers to the value of £725.00, awarded to the first six prize-winning riders who are currently eligible for British Team Selection.
Tina Goosen, World Class Development Showjumping Co-ordinator, who watched the class commented; “It was a very good competition over a technical course, with any faults spread around the course, although the first fence caused a problem to several riders. The class was won convincingly by Graham Gillespie, who along with Stephen Crosby both jumped excellent rounds in the jump-off. It was exciting to see quality jumping in this young riders competition, which can only be promising for the future of British Showjumping”.
A maximum of twenty-four riders will qualify for the Championship final with all qualified competitors 23rd birthday falling on or after the 1st January in the same year as the Championship final. The top seventeen horse and rider combinations will come forward from the qualifying competitions, based on league points accumulated from each horse/rider combinations best four results from the six qualifying competitions. Points will only be awarded to riders who are currently eligible for British Team selection.
Five horse and rider combinations from the 2013 British Young Rider European Team will automatically qualify by right and in addition to the maximum of twenty-two horse/rider combinations qualified through the above process, two wild card qualification places will be awarded, whose decision will be made by the World Class Programme Performance Manager, Rob Hoekstra. The number of wild card selections will only be increased if required to fill the quota of twenty-four places at the final.
The World Class Development Programme is Lottery and Exchequer funded via UK Sport, and seeks to identify and develop talented athletes who have shown the potential to reach the world stage. The Programme underpins World Class Performance and, together with the Equine Pathway, they comprise the Equestrian World Class Programme, incorporating the three Olympic sports of dressage, eventing and showjumping, and the Paralympic sport of para-equestrian dressage.
The Programmes work closely with the three British Equestrian Federation Olympic Member Bodies; British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping, whose own training and competition programmes work hand in hand with the programmes run within World Class.
There will be a further four qualifying competitions in the series: The Hand Equestrian Centre (28th – 31st March) and three during September and November 2013, at Aintree, Ingliston and Addington Equestrian Centres and dates of these three qualifiers will be available on the British Showjumping website in due course.
For more information on showjumping, please visit the British Showjumping website