British Showjumping release:
The Junior Team at their respective European Championships in Wiener Neustadt, Austria picked up Bronze today after a twenty one team Nations Cup competition.
One of the youngest teams fielded, they were forced into a third round jump off against Ireland to decide the Silver and Bronze medal allocation. It was Germany that held onto the lead with their 8 penalty score to take Gold by being just the one fence ahead of both GB and Ireland who finished on 8 penalties after the second round.
First and Second Rounds
The first round commenced at 07:00 hrs and saw some great performances delivered across the team to see them on a zero penalty score at the halfway stage.
Faye Adams, aged 17 from Halesowen, West Midlands with her mother Julie’s 11 year-old chestnut gelding Zozo CL were the first to go and came home clear within the time allowed.on zoero penalties. Harry Charles, aged 16 from Alton, Hampshire with his father Peter’s 10 year-old chestnut gelding Vivaldi Du Dom followed the example set to also finish within the time allowed leaving all fences untouched.
Young Robert Murphy, aged 14 from Preston, Lancashire with Del Fuego, a 12 year-old bay gelding owned by Catherine Witt picked up an unfortunate 4 penalties with a foot in the water. The penalties accrued very quickly became the drop score when anchor rider Millie Allen, aged 17 from Stockton-On-Tees, Cleveland with her father Peter’s 10 year-old bay stallion Balou Star delivered another clear for GB.
A lengthy break saw the team not re-enter the arena until mid-afternoon for the second round and it was Germany who managed to forge into the lead with their 8 penalty score. For GB it was a fence for Faye, Harry and Millie to see them incur 4 penalties each whilst Robert picked up 8 penalties which became the drop score. This saw the Brits finish on a total of 12 penalties and on an equal footing with Ireland requiring both to come forward for a tense filled jump off.
With all riders being required to jump and each nation putting forward their riders in the same order you could of heard a pin drop as each combination entered the arena. Ireland were quickly celebrating with a clear from each of their first three riders with them having no need to field their fourth rider. Placing considerable pressure on the GB riders it most definitely wasn't an enviable position to be in.
Faye returned a brilliant clear, however a fence down by second and third riders Harry and Robert saw the team relegated into Bronze position and Millie not being asked to jump.
Alan Fazakerley, Chef d’Equipe for the Junior Team commented; “We have a young team out here and they all went fantastically. It was a tough competition and one where we were forced into a third round jump off to settle the final placings. There were twenty one teams hunting the three medals on offer and it was just one fence across all the rounds jumped that separated the top three teams at the end of the second round.
“All of the riders did well, their horses went well and this really does bode well for the future. The competition today was of an incredibly high standard and to say I’m pleased with them is an understatement”.
Individual medals for the Juniors will be contested on Sunday 16th August.
The British Junior Team compete under the guidance of Youth Team Manager, Clare Whitaker and their Chef d’Equipe Alan Fazakerley.
The British Young Rider, Junior, Pony and Children European Championship teams are supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme. The teams are also kindly supported by official Equestrian Team GBR suppliers; Dodson and Horrell, Equi-Trek, Land Rover, NAF, NuuMed, Point Two Equine, Tagg Equestrian and Toggi. The teams are further supported by Animo UK, Champion Hats and Next.
For further information on the Championships and results once the competition is underway, please visit www.lake-arena.at.