Britain’s vaulters enjoyed a successful outing at the CVI*** in Saumur this weekend, with three top podium placings secured for the GB squad, including a seventh title for Joanne Eccles.
In the senior individual female class, there was a strong representation from GB, with five vaulters taking to the arena. It was current World champion, Joanne Eccles who took the win aboard W H Bentley (lunged by John Eccles), posting an impressive score of 8.277. Joanne finished ahead of Germany’s Christine Kuhirt (who scored 7.638) and her sister Hannah Eccles, who took third with a score of 7.481 (also on W H Bentley).
Britain’s Lucy Phillips finished sixth with Pitucelli (lunged by Liz Phillips); Helen Anderson (Tylers Kernal, lunged by Amanda McLachlan) recorded an eleventh placing and Stacey Macpherson (Royal Dalton, lunged by Rebecca Hewitt) took fifteenth.
The junior female class saw Britain’s vaulters produce good performances against a competitive international field. Sophie Aitchison (Bankey Moon) was the highest placed Brit finising eighth - at both her and her horses first international competition; Shanon Purves (Bankey Moon) placed ninth, Rebecca Norval (Glaxtown Billy) was eleventh, Emma Counsell (Bankey Moon) just behind in twelfth with Hannah Young (Glaxtown Billy) finishing fourteenth.
In the junior male class it was Andrew McLachlan who led from the start, finishing top in all three tests with Tylers Kernal, lunged by his mother Amanda McLachlan. Finishing ahead of French vaulters Theo Denis and Loic Devedu, Andrew posted a winning score of 7.122 in the final freestyle round. Fellow Brit, Charlie Lochhead (Bankey Moon) finished seventh at his and his horses first international competition.
There was also a win for the Scottish Equestrian Vaulting junior team competing in the CVI2* competition. Posting three good results over the three rounds, the team with Tylers Kernal, lunged by John Eccles secured the win ahead of French junior team Meaux Junior 2.
In the senior team class, the GB teams produced solid performances against a competitive field to finish with a fourth and sixth placing. With Go For Gold, lunged by Julie Newell, the English Vaulting Squad, who posted good results in both tests and were lying in second after the compulsory round, finished fourth after posting a score of 6.430 after the final freestyle round. The South Scotland Select team, aboard Royal Dalton lunged by Rebecca Hewitt, finished sixth with a score of 5.911 in their freestyle test.
The British Nations Cup team (English Vaulting Squad, Hannah and Joanne Eccles) finished second, splitting the French first and second squads, who finished first and third respectfully.
The weekend showcased fantastic results for senior vaulters who continue their campaign for WEG selection, but also for the future of British vaulting, as many of the junior vaulters and horses competing were making their international debuts.