British riders collect medals at the student riders’ World Finals

  • British students (right) enjoyed success in a World Finals championship field of 45 international riders from 15 countries including Canada and the USA over the New Year.

    The EQUINAvet UK AIEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants Cavaliers) SRNC (Student Riders Nations Cup) World Finals were held at Vale View Equestrian Centre, Leics, from 29 December to 1 January.

    This was the culmination of the international events held throughout 2011 for student riders and for the first time the World Finals used a silver and gold league system.

    In the silver league, British rider Henry Womersley Smith joined up with Saskia Schildkamp (The Netherlands) and Maria Svantemark (Sweden) to form Team International 2 and top the leader board.

    Henry made the final round of the dressage phase and was just beaten to the gold medal by his team-mate Saskia. Overall, Henry finished eighth (combined dressage and jumping scores).

    Team GB (Victoria Adderley, Izzy Edmundson and Alison Rountree) excelled themselves in the dressage of the gold league – contested by the top six countries from all SRNC events through the year – to win that phase.

    In the combined team rankings, the British team took the bronze, with victory going to the German team (left), led by overall individual winner Jorgen Kohlbrandt, who was joined by Britta Knaup and Sylvia Mallison.

    Student riding events at both national and international level are based on the idea of competitors riding unfamiliar horses with only a short warm-up, competing directly against others riding the same mount in a knockout style contest.

    The events are also reputed for their social side and the competitors were joined by 100 supporters to enjoy a varied programme of entertainment and parties.

    There was a live band on Thursday and a Rubik’s cube-themed party on Friday, where revellers started by wearing the six different colours of the cube and aimed to end the night wearing one colour – by swapping clothes. There was also a New Year’s Eve gala dance and dinner, with sponsors and judges present.

    The British team members were keen to thank the event’s new title sponsor EQUINAvet UK and the other companies who supported them, including Musto, EquusSphere, Darlow rosettes and Harbro feed and country store, as well as Vale View Equestrian Centre for providing fantastic facilities.

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