Show jumpers reach golden heights
Britain’s pony showjumpers completed a hattrick for the country’s young show jumpers by taking gold at the Pony European Championships in Poland.
Three first-round clears from Hannah Paul with Mister Amontilano, Jodie Ward with Spot the Lady andLaura Sims with New York Spritzer, put Britain well ahead of their European counterparts.
Jodie Ward achieved the only double clear of the competition, but even minor mistakes from Laura Sims and Hannah Paul couldn’t spoil Britain’s chances, and they finished well ahead on eight faults.
The team event saw intense competition for the silver and bronze medals, with a three way jump off between Sweden, France and Holland. In the end, the Dutch were left out in the cold, beaten convincingly by the Swedes, who took silver, and the French, who took bronze.
The individual competition was equally closely disputed, but Britain’s Hannah Paul kept a level head to produce a double clear, unrivalled by either France’s Julia Dallamano, who had to be content with silver, or Holland’s Stephanie Brugman, whose steady accuracy in the second round incurred just one time penalty, leaving her with bronze.
Dressage divas dazzle
Meanwhile the pony dressage championships also saw British success. They finished with a well-deserved bronze medal, after several days of hard work in sweltering heat.
Just as the British Young Riders and Juniors lost out to the Germans and the Dutch, so too did the British Pony team. Although on this occasion Germany was successful in its bid to knock Holland from the top spot.
All four riders were making their debut at this level, and 13-year-old Samantha Harrison produced an astonishing display on Manitu N to finish seventh in the individual competition, leading the British contingent.
Eventers settle for fourth
The pony eventing team had to settle for fourth place after narrowly missing out on a medal when their luck ran out at the final hurdle.
The British riders worked hard to be in silver medal position as they went into the second phase, the cross-country, and slick performances from all the team members meant that they maintained their position overnight going into the show jumping.
The pressure took its toll on the youngsters on the final day, however, and as the poles rattled, they dropped down two places into fourth. Germany looked invincible throughout the competition, finishing more than fifty penalties ahead of their nearest rivals, France, who snatched silver from the jaws of Sweden.