British riders to compete at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival

  • Seven young British riders will be travelling to Sydney early next year to compete in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

    It will be the first time that equestrianism has been included in the event, which runs from 14-18 January.

    Show jumpers Daniel Neilson, Matthew Sampson, Louise Saywell and William Whitaker will take part, along with dressage riders Emily Cousins, Jessica Dunn and Charlie Hutton, who are coached by Di Lampard and Gareth Hughes respectively.

    Mr Hughes told H&H: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for youth riders. There is the element of the unknown as they will be competing on borrowed horses — which makes it that bit more difficult.

    “They are a good group of riders and it will be fun and interesting, but it is hard to say what our chances are until we are over there and can see the quality of horses they are given and begin the training.”

    Caroline Griffith, equestrian team leader, said: “The riders were selected on their successful performances at both national and international level, as well as taking into account their ability to ride different horses.

    “They’re all thrilled about this opportunity to compete on a world stage.”

    The riders, who are all 19 or under, will be among more than 100 young British athletes competing in the event.

    In total over 1,600 athletes from 25 nations will take part in the biennual festival, which was set up by the Australian Olympic Committee as part of the legacy of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

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