Britain’s Young Riders selected

  • A squad of six has been selected to contest the Young Rider European Championships which are due to take place in Barocca d’Alva, Portugal, on 23-26 September.

    Oliver Smith heads the fray, with a choice of rides. He won the final trial, which was moved to Highclere after bad weather forced the cancellation of Henbury Hall, with Monarch’s Aristocrat, beating the British opposition by more than four penalties after finishing on a clean sheet.

    He also finished in seventh on his second ride, The Magic Moment, with whom he crowned a successful partnership in flamboyant style at the British Open Championships at Gatcombe earlier this month. They finished in second in the Intermediate Championships, their best result to date.

    Alexandra Postolowsky also has two rides to choose from. Although she had a virtually unprecedented stop across country at Highclere on Diplomatic Jack, the combination have been enjoying huge success this season, rarely finishing out of the top three, and are strong contenders.

    The 19-year-old has equally good potential in Flintstone Curtis, although the grey gelding has yet to truly find his feet beyond intermediate level.

    Windsor threw up some impressive performances from British youngsters, with Isabelle Taylor and her mother’s Flurry Knox V squeezing into the runner-up spot in the CCI**.

    The pair were well-placed at Highclere before an unusual stop across country put pay to their chances of success there, but a good win at the pre-Olympics event at Aston-le-Walls, which saw as much top quality horse and rider flesh as Badminton or Athens, on top of a consistent season, makes them a great British prospect.

    Taylor broke her back at Lummen last summer, but has made a spectacular recovery, which she attributes to the rigours and pleasure of a season’s hunting, and is now making her mark in the eventing world.

    The other three members of the Hartpury College-sponsored Young Rider squad include Fiona Davidson, who has been selected with her own Talk Time. The pair have had something of an up-and-down year, but recently everything has come together to make them into a strong-looking partnership.

    Olivia Haddow, who has already represented Britain at junior level in 2001 and 2002, looked impressive at Highclere with Patris Filius, while Lucy Holliday, who, like Haddow, is just 20, has been having a great year with High Times, and would be delighted to crown the season with success in Portugal.

    Hartpury College Young Rider Squad:

    Fiona Davidson (Talk Time)
    Olivia Haddow (Patris Filius)
    Lucy Holliday (High Times)
    Alexandra Postolowsky (Flint Curtis or Diplomatic Jack)
    Oliver Smith (The Magic Moment or Monarch’s Assistant)
    Isabelle Taylor (Flurry Knox V)

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