Great Britain’s student riders experienced a golden four days in Holland at the end of May, winning the Nations Cup event held at De Mortel.
Fifteen nations from all over the world were represented, including Canada, USA, Ireland and Germany. Each team comprised three riders with Philippa Castro, Becky Woolven and Hannah Patchitt (pictured left to right) representing Britain.
Becky, a final year student at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, also took the individual gold medal. Philippa and Hannah, both graduates of Leeds University, finished fifth and ninth.
British team manager Kate Allen said: “I’m over the moon with the results and all three girls finishing in the top 10 was absolutely fantastic. It really was a very exciting result for GB.”
The Nations Cup is organised by a French founded body AIEC (The World of Student Riding), whose aim is to develop and coordinate international university equestrian sport.
The Student Riders Nations Cups (SRNCs) involve a showjumping and dressage competition. The competitors are provided with horses to compete on; a different one for each round and there are five for both the showjumping and the dressage.
The tricky part is that the students are only allowed to ride the horses for five minutes before the showjumping or dressage test, taking two practise jumps in the showjumping. The best to ride each horse gets through to the next round.
The finals rounds are a huge test of rider ability as the jumps can be up to 1.40m and the dressage is to prix st george level.