Will Furlong led the British attack at the combined junior and young rider eventing European Championships in Haras de Jardy, France, last weekend (12-15 September).
Riding his own 11-year-old grey mare Pioneer Silvie, Will stayed on his dressage score of 44.2 to move up from 9th after dressage to claim the individual junior bronze medal.
“It was my first time at a European Championship so I wasn’t expecting anything like this sort of result as I was lying in 5th place going into showjumping,” said Will. “Making it here was my ultimate goal for the season so it has been the perfect end to a great year with her. I owe her so much.”
The British Hows Racesafe-sponsored team was out of luck in this competition, finishing 7th after Emily King (Mr Hiho) was eliminated in the showjumping and Sophie Beaty (Stanly, 42nd) and Genevieve Clarke (Uchin, 45th) both finished down the order.
Ireland’s juniors had a fantastic result, with Elizabeth Hayden (Miracle, individual silver), Harold Megahey (Chuckelberry, 6th), Cathal Daniels (Rioghan Rua, 7th) and Joshua Pim (The Royal Minstrel) combining forces to take the team gold.
Britain had better fortune from a team point of view in the young rider championship, bringing home the team silver.
Holly Woodhead spearheaded the effort on her father Ian and stepmother Heidi’s DHI Lupison, finishing 6th individually. She was joined in the quartet by Millie Dumas (Artistiek, 20th), David Doel (Ricoshea, 33rd) and Tom Jackson (Waltham Fiddlers Find).
Dani Evans, last year’s individual bronze medallist, finished 11th as an individual on Luana Edge’s Smart Time.
Ireland claimed the team bronze, fielding Michelle Kenny (Fernhill M2S, 17th), Melanie Young (Riverstown Express, 22nd), David Hannigan (Red Baron, 28th) and Caroline Marwood (Jazzin Along).
Full report in H&H next week, 26 September issue.