Sam Ecroyd heads British pony eventing shortlist for Europeans

  • New pony national champion Sam Ecroyd heads the shortlist for this year’s British pony eventing team.

    Sam won the Charles Owen British pony championship at Brand Hall last weekend and has his winning partner, Catherston Nutsafe, on the list, as well as Three Wells Breeze, ninth at Brand Hall.

    Nine riders have been shortlisted for the European Championships at Bishop Burton, Yorks (29 July-1 August).

    Those shortlisted will attend a training weekend on the 26-27 June after which the squad and reserves will be announced. Those selected will have a final run at Shipton Moyne, Glos (6-7 July), in the open novice before the Europeans.

    Chairman of pony selectors Ginnie Keen said: “We have many good combinations in contention this year which makes it difficult to select the squad straight after Brand Hall. The decision to select after the training weekend will allow us to have assessed all the ponies so we can ensure we have the strongest possible squad to take to Bishop Burton.”

    Alfie Bradstock is the only shortlisted rider with championship experience — he rode at last year’s Europeans as an individual with his shortlisted pony this time, Montezuma II — but several of the ponies have medals to their names.

    Sam Ecroyd’s ride Catherston Nutsafe was a double team silver medallist with Ella McEwen (2008 and 2009), Pumba Goess-Saurau’s Killacoran Blue was a team silver medallist with Eliza Stoddart (2008) and Grace Walker’s Noble Springbok has individual bronze (2005, Laura Collett), silver (2006, Libbey Soley) and gold medals (2007, Libby Soley), as well as three team medals, on his record.

    Britain has an excellent record in the pony Europeans, winning a team medal every year since 2005, and will be looking to keep this up on home soil in 2010.

    Full shortlist:

    • Sophie Beaty, 14, with her own Done And Dusted VI
    • Alfie Bradstock, 16, with Louise Hamilton’s Montezuma II
    • Sam Ecroyd, 13, with Penelope Ecroyd’s Catherston Nutsafe and Three Wells Breeze
    • Pumba Goess-Saurau, 13, with Susie Goess-Saurau’s Killacoran Blue
    • Phillipa Hill, 14, with her own A Touch Of Spice
    • Sophie How, 15, with her own The Sky Master
    • Harry Humfrey, 15, with his own Tantany Torch
    • Emily Jane Ryder, 15, with her own Mr Moon
    • Grace Walker, 13, with her own Noble Springbok

    Full report from the Charles Owen British pony championship at Brand Hall in H&H out today, 10 June.

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