After yesterday’s dramatic cross-country day at the young rider European eventing championships in Millstreet, Ireland, the British team fought hard to come away with individual silver and team bronze medals.
Alex Kennedy (pictured top) added nothing to her dressage score of 41.3 to take home the individual silver. Riding her 12 year old grey Lissangle Cavaletto B, Alex put in a foot-perfect performance in what was a dramatic championships.
Germany’s Hanna Knuppel, who was second after the dressage, but rose to first after British rider Sam Ecroyd fell on the cross-country, had a fence in hand over Alex on the final day. Nerves were rattled when she had the second fence down, but she held it together to take individual gold with Carismo 22.
British-based Dutch rider, Janou Bleekman and Granntevka Prince capitalised on their clear showjumping round inside the time, of which there were only eight from the 40 final day starters, to rise from eighth to eventual bronze medal position.
Ireland’s Cathal Daniels put the disappointment of teammate Susie Berry and Morswood, who were in second after the cross-country, being spun at the final trot-up, behind them to notch another good clear jumping round with Sammy Davis Junior to finish in fourth.
Individual British rider, Lizzie Baugh, and Quarry Man enjoyed their first taste of a championship when finishing ninth thanks to a fantastic double clear.
Katie Bleloch and the super-consistent Bulano, were the next best-placed Brits in 11th.
“I’m so pleased,” said Katie, who is in her final year of young riders. “I’ve waited three years to get a medal so I’m over the moon to have finally managed it. I’ve never ridden so fast in the showjumping, due to the tight time, but my horse didn’t touch a pole.”
Felicity Collins, who was a member of the junior team last year with her hugely promising eight year old, RSH Contend Or added just one showjumping time-fault to wind up in 13th place.
The final rider for Britain to complete was Libby Seed. She had a pole down at fence three to finish a respectable 16th with Philanderer.
“My horse was a bit awestruck going into the arena so I had to ride him quite strongly, which is why we had that fence down,” explained Libby. “But he’s been a really good boy all week and the further we went round the course, the better he got.”
The top three teams finished well clear of the rest of the field. Thanks to Britain’s consistent performances, the team clinched the bronze, which is a great result to add to the junior’s individual gold and team silver medals.
It ended up being a tight battle for the gold and silver medals between Germany and the Netherlands, but Germany held on to finish 2.2 penalties ahead of the Dutch.
There was huge disappointment for one combination the…
Keep up-to-date with all the action from the championships at horseandhound.co.uk, plus don’t miss the full report in Horse & Hound magazine, out on 27 July.