The British pony team did the nation proud this morning when they won Team Gold at the FEI Pony European Jumping Championships in Malmo, Sweden.
Finishing on an overall score of just one time penalty, their rock solid performances over the past two days saw them push Ireland into Silver position on 4 penalties and France into Bronze just one time penalty behind them. For Great Britain it was a clear victory with them only having to carry the one time penalty that had been accrued on the first day.
It was 15 year-old Jodie Hall McAteer from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire who took the role of pathfinder for the team today with Tixylix, the 17 year-old chestnut mare owned by Sarah Mendoza. Jumping double clear in both rounds today to match their zero penalty score from yesterday saw them deliver brilliant performances for the team but also position themselves strongly in contention for the individual medals which will be decided on Sunday with the Grand Prix.
Jack Whitaker from Whatton in Nottinghamshire, the youngest of the team at just 13 years-old, jumped a brilliant first round clear this morning with the 9 year-old chestnut mare Zodianne van de Doevenbree owned by his father Michael. A fence down in the second round saw them incur 4 penalties to become the drop score for the team where only the three best rounds count.
Jessica Hewitt, aged 16 from Pontefract, West Yorkshire picked up a time fault on day one in what was otherwise a faultless performance on Lynn Barker's 11 year-old dark bay gelding Ammanvalley Santino. Their performance today saw them pick up pace enough to finish within the time leaving all fences standing to deliver GB a double clear.
Taking the position of anchor for the team was 16 year-old Charlotte Ash from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear with her mother Shirley’s 11 year-old gelding Aughnashammer. A fence down in the first round saw Charlotte enter into the arena for the second time with a huge weight of responsibility on her shoulders due to both Ireland and France snapping on GB’s heels. Knowing that nothing other than a clear would ensure a Gold medal placing the pressure on her must have been immense but she tackled the job in front of her head on to break the finish line clear within the time allowed.
An absolutely incredible performance today sees Great Britain continue their dominance at the Pony European Championships. The team now look ahead to Sunday when the Grand Prix takes place and the Individual medals will be decided.
The British Team are competing under the guidance of Youth Team Manager, Clare Whitaker and Pony Chef d’Equipe Matt Lanni and are supported by Animo UK, Champion Hats and NEXT.
The British Children, Pony, Junior and Young Rider teams are also supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme. They are also kindly supported by official Equestrian Team GBR suppliers; Dodson & Horrell, Equi-Trek, Land Rover, NAF, Nuumed, Point Two Equine, Tagg Equestrian and Toggi.
For further information and full results please visit www.malmotown.com/malmocityhorseshow.
FEI Pony European Jumping Championships - Team Medals
GOLD - Great Britain - 1 Penalty
Jodie Hall Mcateer & Tixylix (0/0/0)
Jack Whitaker & Zodianne van de Doevenbree (18/0/4)
Jessica Hewitt & Ammanvalley Santino (1/0/0)
Charlotte Ash & Aughnashammer (0/4/0)
SILVER - Ireland - 4 Penalties
BRONZE - France - 5 Penalties