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A trio of British girls took bronze at the FEI European Reining Championships in Manerbio, Italy at the weekend (8-15 September).

Britain fielded the youngest team in the junior competition, comprising Tabitha Sternberg Allen (15), Isobel Le Pla (15) and Fiona Howard (14).

Girls wearing their hats, kindly sponsored by Westgate EFI Ltd

Dream team: the British girls won bronze despite only having 3 rather 4 riders in the team

The girls train with Tabitha’s father Doug Allen at Sterling Quarter Horses, Bodiam, East Sussex, and he was their chef d’equipe for the event.

“I am really delighted with the girls, they rode very well, used their heads and didn’t crack under the pressure. It bodes incredibly well for the future,” Doug said.

Tabitha Sternberg Allen on Yelena My Way (Milo)

Tabitha Sternberg Allen on Yelena My Way were the best British performers

Tabitha was the highest scoring rider of the team in both rounds on the 2nd oldest horse at the competition Yelena My Way [Milo].

“I am so excited for the team and incredibly grateful and proud of my horse Milo,” Tabitha said.

“He might be an oldie, but he’s a goldie!”

Fiona Howard on Spookanic

Fiona Howard, 14, on Spookinic was the youngest rider in the competition

The European Championships is the highest medal opportunity for junior and young riders as there is no World Equestrian Games or Olympics for their age group.

Isobel Le Pla riding Wimpys Little Gal (Wilma)

Isobel Le Pla had only ridden Wimpys Little Gal once before

All 3 riders advanced to the individual finals where Tabitha placed 12th, Isobel 13th and Fiona 15th.

The girls’ next event will be the British Reining Championships in 2 weeks time at Bodiam, East Sussex. After that they are all hoping to be selected for next year’s American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup Team competition in Texas, USA.