Competition day nine: World Equestrian Games Round-up

20th Sep 2018

  •          Natasha Baker MBE secures Individual Silver in Grade III class
  •          Great Britain’s showjumpers get their world championships underway
  •          Vaulting Nations Cup competition at WEG


After Lee and Sophie kick-started their WEG yesterday, today was the turn of Britain’s Natasha Baker MBE and Erin Orford in the Grade III Individual test.

First into the arena to get the event underway was Natasha with the Mount St John Stud’s Mount St John Diva Dannebrog, who produced a stunning test on their championship debut to record a score of 72.471%

Commenting a delighted Natasha said; “She [Mount St John Diva Dannebrog] was amazing; she went in there like she owned it and I am so proud of everything that we have achieved in such a short space of time. I am so grateful to her owners [Mount St John Stud] for giving me this opportunity.

“It’s such an honour to get called up for the team and for the selectors to have the trust in us to do our best is really encouraging.”

With one British rider the first to go, it was an anxious wait to the end of the class, for Erin Orford to make her WEG debut. With Annabel Whittet’s Dior, the sparkling duo performed a lovely test, but Pimms had a slight spook which through her out of her rhythm. A final score of 68.853% was confirmed, for ninth place overall.

Erin commented; “I'm disappointed with the performance, for my team and everyone who's supported me - it's not what we came here to do. She's a super talented horse and has felt great all year and in training out here so I wanted to show that in the test but unfortunately that wasn't possible today. I hope that experience will help to build her confidence so that we can perform the test for the team that I know we're capable of.”

All four riders next compete in the team tests, which run over this Thursday and Friday.


Times for tomorrow (BST):


16.30: Sir Lee Pearson, with his and Mr and Mrs D Pearson’s Styletta


14.30: Sophie Wells MBE, with Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction

Times for Friday (BST):

15.15: Natasha Baker MBE, with the Mount St John Stud’s Mount St John Diva Dannebrog

16.22: Erin Orford, with Annabel Whittet’s Dior



Today saw the first day of the jumping competition, with our four team members all taking to the arena to get their world championships underway.

William Funnell got the competition off to a good start for the British team this morning, with The Billy Stud’s Billy Buckingham, to go clear in a time of 87.25%.

Commenting after his round; “He’s not the fastest horse, so I wasn’t expecting to come out in the lead, but I was really pleased with the way he jumped in there, he jumped really well. It’s a good start, and hopefully he jumps as well tomorrow and the next day and I can do a good job for the team.”

Next into the U.S. Trust Arena was Holly Smith with Graham Smith, T J Hall Limited and her own Hearts Destiny, to make their championship debut. Setting a quick early pace, the duo were unlucky to have a single pole down, to add four faults to their time, giving them a final time of 87.17 seconds.

“Very proud,” said Holly “He felt absolutely amazing in there; there was just one small mistake, which started with him just being a bit green at the wall. I’m just delighted with him, coping with that atmosphere having just done a year of international competition. I think tomorrow will be more to his strengths, with the bigger jumps; I hope we can do everybody proud.”

Championship debutant Amanda Derbyshire with Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Luibanta BH was next up and flew round the first part of the course. An uncharacteristic error at the water, in turn causing an error at the next fence, saw them accrue eight penalties, for a total time of 85.30 seconds.

“I was going for a fast clear which was my plan. Up until the water [jump] that was all going to plan, but unfortunately she just picked up a stride early, which is very unusual for the horse, she’s never done that before, which I think then left us a little unorganised for the next fence. I think she finished the course well and in a fast time, so that still puts us in pretty good stead for tomorrow.”

Final British combination for the day, William Whitaker with Ludwig and Yasmine Criel’s Utamaro D’Ecaussines, made their presence felt, putting in a great round, put had an unlucky pole down on the double to see four penalties added to his time, to see him onto a final time of 82.62 seconds.

“It was a real shame; I was delighted with my horse, he jumped brilliant out there,” William commented afterwards. “He jumped a great round, I think I maybe could have just helped him a bit more up that line to the fence, but from my point of view I’m very, very happy with him. I don’t think he could have jumped any better in there.”


Times for tomorrow (BST):


The Team and individual second jumping competition gets underway at 14.00 (BST). Great Britain have been drawn;


20th : William Funnell with The Billy Stud’s Billy Buckingham


52nd : Holly Smith with Graham Smith, T J Hall Limited and her own Hearts Destiny


85th : Amanda Derbyshire with Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Luibanta BH


116th: William Whitaker with Ludwig and Yasmine Criel’s Utamaro D’Ecaussines



Having got their world championships underway yesterday with the first event, the compulsory test, all Britain’s vaulters were in action again today in the Nations Cup event, with the freestyle contested.

Up first was individual female Lucy Phillips with Ben Aucott’s Demezza; lunged by Julie Newell, the duo performed a great test with expressive movements to see a score of 7.155 given.

Commenting after, Lucy said; “I had a few challenges, but I felt like I got over them; I’m happy with the score and the end result and I have really enjoyed the experience.”

Second individual female for Great Britain, Rebecca Norval on Deborah Bentzen’s Edinburgh 23, lunged by Saacha de Amborossio, was next into the arena. Rebecca performed a strong routine for a score of 6.643, commenting afterwards she said; “I thought it went really good, but the horse was quite unsettled, so I did adapt it and change it around a bit but overall I was really happy with it.”

Completing Great Britain’s Nations Cup competition was the English Vaulting Squad with Demezza, lunged by Julie Newell. Performing to a futuristic soundtrack, the squad performed an excellent routine, but were unlucky to have a few mistakes for a final mark of 6.936.

Lunger Julie Newell summed up today’s competition saying; “Today’s been brilliant; we’ve had a great time and it’s been fantastic to be here with all the other disciplines. It’s educated the children so much, to be able to see all the other combinations competing. It was quiet yesterday with the compulsory but today’s been really exciting, and by Saturday the atmosphere is going to be electric in there.”

Equestrian Team GBR is supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme; the British teams are very grateful to the support they receive from the British Equestrian Federation Fund and official partners Dodson and Horrell, Equi-Trek, FALPRO England, Musto, NAF and Point Two.            

Full results from Tryon can be found online at: