The youth of Britain continued their triumphant stampede through Europe as the young dressage riders won bronze at the European Championships in Denmark, following up the success of their show jumping counterparts.

Only the Dutch and the German were able to beat Britain’s medal-winning performance, which landed them on a total of 4571. Holland finished on 4710, and Germany on 4674.

The British team line-up was:

  • Laura Bechtolsheimer (Gloucestershire) riding Douglas Dorsey
  • Holly Burrough (Hampshire) riding Orvieto
  • Maria Eilberg (Worcestershire) riding Don Perry
  • Nikki Patrick (Warwickshire) riding Rescue Me H

    Laura was the standard-setter for the British team, finishing sixth in the team test, with very competitive performances in the freestyle and individual test pushing her up to fifth overall. Her achievement was particularly impressive as this is only Laura’s second international competition with Douglas Dorsey.

    The 13-year-old gelding is usually competed by Laura’s father, Dr Bechtolsheimer, but Winniza, Laura’s usual ride, contracted an infection at the last minute, and the substitution of Douglas Dorsey proved to be a huge success.

    The other 19-year-old on the Young Riders team, Maria Eilberg was not far behind with Don Perry. The combination dug deep into their resources, drawing on the experience that won them team gold at the Junior Championships two years ago, proving that they are made of serious stuff and look to be a force majeure in the future.

    Chef d’Equipe Caroline Griffith was thrilled by the team’s performance, stressing just how well-deserved a medal it was:

    “To win the bronze medal was brilliant,” she said. “It was quite clearly a bronze medal win – all the riders produced good percentages and the team was well ahead of the 4th placed team.”

  • The Junior Team of Henry Boswell (Warwickshire) riding DHI Faederlite, Emily Cousins (Kent) riding Ludo II, Lara Griffith (Oxfordshire) riding Morgi Fortuna and Anne-Marie Perry (Cleveland) riding Forrest Fire finished in a creditable team eighth.