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Young riders get gold for Britain

The young rider eventing squad returned Britain to the very top of the young rider eventing tree at Segersjo in Sweden last weekend. The Hartpury College-sponsored team took the gold medal by the narrowest of margins from last year’s champions Germany, bringing Britain’s team gold tally in the championships to 14 since 1981.

Unsurprisingly, Germany took an early lead after the dressage, followed by Italy in second, while Britain was in bronze position, ahead of France in fourth.

Chef d’equipe, David Merrett, described the cross-country course as “a good track” despite it not being quite as big as was expected. “It was technically challenging and of championship standard, with a feature water jump and five jumping efforts within 80yd,” he explained.

Britain’s girls tackled the cross-county challenge with relish. Gemma Tattersall (Jesters Quest) and Sarra Mayberry (Tommy Pink) produced clear rounds inside the time, while under-25 national champion Phoebe Buckley (The Busker) picked up just 0.4 of a time fault. Final team member Oliva Haddow (Patris Fillus) had an unfortunate glance off, plus 2.8 time penalties.

Going into the final day, Britain was in bronze position, but both Germany and France were in their sights. The show jumping proved particularly influential with only six riders managing to keep a clean sheet. The British girls posted three of the clear rounds to finish just 1.1pen ahead of the Germans and clinch the gold.

The show jumping was jumped in reserve order of merit, which left Phoebe Buckley with the unenviable task of jumping last for the team, but she handled the pressure well to finish fourth individually as the highest placed British rider.

“We had a lovely clear,” Phoebe said. “My horse pulled up from 17th after the dressage to fourth. That is what we went out to do.”

The individual gold medal went to Germany’s Marie-Louisa Meyer (I’m No Angel) ahead of Huub van der Mark (Paso Doble) of the Netherlands, with Laetitia Galinier taking the bronze for France.

Team results

1. Britain 160.0
2. Germany 161.1
3. France 171.6

Individual results

1. Marie-Louisa Meyer (I’m No Angel) GER
2. Huub van der Mark (Paso Doble) NED
3. Laetitia Galinier (Oberon) FRA
4. Pheobe Buckley (The Busker) GBR
5. Gemma Tattersall (Jesters Quest) GBR
6. Sarra Mayberry (Tommy Pink) GBR
16. Dominic Ruane (Highwayman VII) GBR
17. Melissa Shawcross (Swansong II) GBR
23. Olivia Haddow (Patris Filius) GBR

  • For a full report on all the action from Sweden, see next week’s Horse & Hound (1 September, ’05)
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