British Showjumping press release
The Children’s Team (on horses) representing Great Britain at their European Championships in Wiener Neustadt, Austria fought hard today for the Team Silver medal which they eventually claimed as theirs after an incredibly long day of competition.
Team Performances - First Round
Coming forward for the Nations Cup competition of today, GB were carrying a zero penalty score and in joint first position. Having jumped the first leg of the competition yesterday they were now faced with two further rounds of jumping where the best three scores within the team across each round would score towards the final total and decide the three medal placings on offer.
The first of the two rounds saw an early start time of 07:30 hrs for all of the twenty two nations contesting the 1.25m course. India Bussey, aged 14 from Norwich, Norfolk with her mother Louise’s 13 year-old chestnut gelding Westwinds Ego were the pathfinders for the team. An unfortunate two fences down saw them pick up 8 penalties and become the drop score in this particular round.
Hallie Lunn, aged 14 from Rochford, Essex with her father Richard’s 8 year-old chestnut mare Brookwood Supersonic followed. However a rub of a pole saw them pick up 4 penalties which needed to be carried forward into round 2. It was young Oliver Fletcher, aged 12 from Faringdon, Oxfordshire with his father Graham’s 9 year-old bay mare Little Business that set the GB camp alight when he returned home clear within the time allowed. As the youngest member on the team he is also one of the youngest team riders ever to represent Great Britain making his performance all the more notable. Last to go Lottie Tutt, aged 14 from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire with Babylon, a 9 year-old chestnut gelding owned by Alan Tredwell followed the example set by Oliver by putting in another clear returning on a zero penalty leaving Britain to carry just the 4 penalties through to the second round
Team Performances – Second Round
With the second round not starting until the middle of the afternoon it was a lengthy wait before the team could head back to the stables and start warming their horses up again.
Sitting in 4th position the team were absolutely determined to climb up into one of the medal winning positions. It was here that they really came into their own and start to put the other nations under pressure. India returned back into the arena to deliver a perfectly executed clear round within the time allowed, a performance which was then matched by Hallie. With two clears under GB’s belt and the other nations certainly started to feel the pressure which was then further asserted when Oliver delivered yet another clear to become one of the few riders to achieve a double clear throughout the competiton. For Lottie it was a 4 penalty finish which saw them become the drop score leaving GB with zero penalties to carry forward other than the 4 gained in the first round.
It was Germany that took pole position having finished with just the one time penalty. The final placings had gone to the wire with it not being until their final rider had jumped for anyone to know whether they had done enough to keep GB in the Silver Medal winning spot rather than Gold.
The Bronze medal saw both Poland and Italy go head to head in a third and final round for the final medal on offer. It was Poland who ended up taking it as theirs joining Germany and GB on the podium pushing Italy into 4th place and just outside the medal placings.
Talking afterwards Chef d’Equipe Alan Fazakerley commented “Each rider contributed brilliantly today and all of them were absolutely fantastic; I really am so proud of them. All four delivered played a major part in them winning Team Silver and they should all be very proud of themselves. Whilst all played a great role in the success of today I really feel that Oliver deserves a mention as he put in a particularly big performance at the incredibly young age of just 12 years with his double clear and he deserves praise for that. It’s been a long day and the way that each of the riders have handled the tension that comes with that when there is such a lengthy break between rounds makes me feel honoured to be representing them”.
Individual medals for Children will then be decided on Saturday 15th August. Further information and full results can be found by visiting: http://www.lake-arena.at/euro2015/en/competitions
The British Teams 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.