Meet the endurance riders carrying British hopes on their shoulders at the European Championships
Team stalwart Jane James will be looking forward to her fifth year on theBritish team with Rowengay Garnet (Alfie). The 15.2hh chesnut Anglo-Arab by Fergus is 14 this year.
Jane, 43, has completed six 100-milers including two Summer Solstice rides, Cirencester and three FEI events. She was a member of the World Championship silver medal-winning team in CompiŠgne last year, collected team silver at the last European Championships in Portugal, and team gold in Switzerland.
Primary school teacher Liz Platts, 38, from Bradwell-on-Sea, says Zilzal is as fit and raring to go as ever. “In fact, I don’t think he has ever been as fit,” she says of the 15hh nine-year-old Narim grey gelding. Liz completed the Tattersalls FEI 80-mile ride with Zilzal last year.
Nicky Sherry, a 45-year-old GP practice manager from Bodmin, was a member of the international team with Layla’s Reward. This will be a debut for her grey 14.2hh Spanish Arab mare Bella Joya.
The mare has a good record winning the 50-mile race ride on Exmoor in 1998 as well as collecting the Gold Futurity Cup at Cirencester in the same year and coming third at Shropshire Hills FEI ride last year.
Lisa Franks, 40, from Wincanton will be riding her 11-year-old Thoroughbred mare I’m Pollyanna. A Cheltenham prospect who never grew, at 15hh I’m Pollyanna was bought originally by Lisa to event before the pair turned to endurance.
Secondary school teacher Liz Booth, 50, will be making her team debut following a strong record with her 14-year-old chesnut Arab gelding Youshca. Long-listed for the 2000 British team, the pair was second at last year’s Scottish championships and 14th at the Tattersalls 80-miler.
The youngest member of the British team, Beccy Broughton, will be celebrating her 22nd birthday on the day of the ride. She will partner Pauline Holloway’s stallion Murmansk on her senior team debut.
By Parmant, the pure-bred 15.2hh 10-year-old took Beccy to victory at the Dukeries under-21 ride. Last season they also notched up 13th place at Tattersalls and earlier this season collected 19th place at the Moulins Englibert, 80-mile FEI ride in France.