The young rider who was in the running for European glory when he was disqualified for a “slight scratch” on his horse’s flank said he is now looking to the future.

Jake Saywell and Havinia de Roshoeve were in contention for an individual medal at the European Showjumping Championships for young riders, juniors and children (8-13 August), but were disqualified under the blood rule.

Jake had just jumped his fourth clear round of the competition, in the first round of the individual final (13 August).

He was in the lead and was last to go and would have won gold had he not been disqualified.

“My leg flew up and back and I caught her on her flank,” he told H&H. “It was a scratch with a tiny bit of blood at the bottom.

“The president of the jury came to see me and told me that in no way did they think I had ridden aggressively.”

Jake accepted the decision and was looking forwards.

“That’s sport and that’s life,” he added. “It wouldn’t have helped if my mare had been wearing a belly band because the scratch was so high.”

That day, a spokesman for Saywell’s Equestrian said: “Jake and Havinia jumped yet another fantastic clear today, they are the only combination to have jumped clear the whole week.

“Sadly due to a slight scratch on her flank they were disqualified. Havinia has jumped unbelievably all week never touching a fence, we are so over the moon with her.”

Havinia arrived safely back at Jake’s base in Nottingham on Monday night (14 August) and is being “spolied by everyone”.

“A huge thank you to everybody who has called and sent such kind and supportive messages,” added the Saywells’ spokesman. “Onwards and upwards from here”.

Medal haul

The British riders still took home six medals from the championships, in Samorin, Slovakia.

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The young riders — Emily Moffitt, Amy Inglis, Jake and Millie Allen — won team gold and Amy bronze individually with Wishes.

Meanwhile the children team, Angel Tough, Jocasta Symons, Matilda Lanni and Oliver Fletcher, secured gold thanks to their three clears in a jump-off against Belgium and Oliver won bronze individually with Disckoboy D.N.

The junior team, Robert Murphy, Scarlett Charles, Jack Whitaker and Harry Charles, won silver and Harry also claimed individual silver with his father Peter’s Vivaldi du Dom.