Competition day ten: World Equestrian Games round-up

20th Sep 2018

  • Great Britain’s jumping team make the top ten in the second competition to qualify for tomorrow’s team final
  • Sophie Wells MBE gets a Personal Best as the British para-dressage squad make a strong start on the first day of the team competition


The British jumping team have qualified for the final round of the team competition after good performances from all four combinations saw them end the day in ninth position.

William Funnel (Surrey) was first to enter the U.S Trust Arena in the opening session with The Billy Stud’s Billy Buckingham. After their clear round yesterday, the duo produced some lovely jumping over a technical course, but were unlucky to have a toe in the water and a single time fault, to leave them with 5 penalties, and a total of 10.46 penalties at the end of the second day.

“I didn’t envisage I was anywhere near it [the water jump] but apparently he just put one foot back, so that was disappointing but I was really pleased with the horse,” said William. “It’s his first championships; I thought he jumped well, the time was always tight, but I wouldn’t have changed too much. It’s a tough course, it’s technical, but he’s a big jumper and he proved today he can do it, very pleased with him.”

Leicestershire’s Holly Smith with Graham Smith, T J Hall and Holly’s Hearts Destiny were next in for the team and made a brilliant start to the round but unfortunately picked up eight penalties before the finish, leaving them on a final individual total of 13.42.

Commenting afterwards she said; “I thought he [Hearts Destiny] was absolutely foot perfect until he had his mistakes, where we tried to keep in the time. He’s got loads of raw talent but he’s still a little bit inexperienced so there’s still a bit to work to do. We always try to aim for a clear round so I am little bit disappointed that we didn’t achieve that but I think the horse showed his class in the ring and had a good experience in there.”

Third to go for Great Britain, Amanda Derbyshire (Florida) took to the ring with Gochman Sport Horse LLC, Luibanta BH and started the round well before reaching the water jump where the pair were unlucky to just land on the tape. Finishing strong, they had just a second over the time to end with five penalties.

Amanda said: “She jumped so well in there. I didn’t think I had a foot in the water, I thought I rode it as good as I could do, but maybe yesterday was in the back of my mind a little bit to not get her too close. I couldn’t have been prouder of how she jumped in there – she’s a little horse and that’s a big track, to jump round and clear all those fences I’m just so proud of her.”

Last to go for Great Britain was West Yorkshire’s William Whitaker and Utamaro d’Ecassuines, owned by Ludwig and Yasmine Criel. The duo made a very good start and were unlucky to knock down two poles in the second half of their round. The talented combination finished with 11.14 penalties which ultimately helped the team to finish ninth by the end of the day, and qualify them for the final round of the team competition.

After his round, William said; “He was jumping well and really trying. The course is a tough course and it’s what you’d expect [for a World Championships], but it’s still disappointing. It's a fantastic experience to be here, it’s what we work every day for, but we want to come here and win a medal, it’s not over yet; all the horses jumped really good rounds today.”

All four of the British combinations also made it through as Individuals after they all finished in the top 60.

Times for (BST):

The Team and individual second jumping competition (round 2) gets underway at 18.30 (BST). Great Britain have been drawn;

25 : William Funnell with The Billy Stud’s Billy Buckingham

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

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

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


The British para-dressage squad have ended the first day of the team competition in a strong position after Sophie Wells MBE and Sir Lee Pearson contested the Grade V and Grade II classes respectively.

Drawn first in the order for a second time this week, Nottinghamshire’s Sophie Wells MBE and Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction got Great Britain off to the perfect start as they produced an amazing test to finish on a score of 77.233% - a new personal best for the combination.

A delighted Sophie said; “I am so happy with him [C Fatal Attraction]; I love him to bits. I knew I needed to up my game from the other day for the team. I had a look at my test with my coaches and looked at different areas; I gave him a 20 minute stretch because I wanted to leave it all in the tank for today and luckily it worked.”

Commenting on being the first British team rider, Sophie added; “You learn to deal with the pressure and I just focussed on what I needed to do. We worked so hard over the winter and he’s come out a different horse this year. All the other nations are getting so much stronger and the horse power is incredible in the sport. We want to retain our title but we can only do the best that we can do.”

Sir Lee Pearson (Staffordshire) followed up for Great Britain later in the morning in the Grade II class with Styletta, owned by Lee and Mr and Mrs Pearson. Unfazed by the big arena, the duo had some great moments in their test and were rewarded with a strong score of 71.606%.

Lee said; “I was not worried about the placing today, I rode calmly and passionately in there, and said thank you to her on every transition. I’m over the moon; it’s not the highest score in the world, and not the way I can ride, but the way I should have ridden today.

“She’s been brilliant here, with the environment, with the arenas – I thought she would be petrified, but she hasn’t and I do believe that she will be a fantastic championship horse for the future.”

Lying in fifth place in the overall standings overnight with two combinations left to go, Natasha Baker MBE and Erin Orford will round off the team score when they compete in the Grade III team test tomorrow.

Times (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

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: