British students crowned world champions

  • British student riders were celebrating last week as the Team GB university equestrian team were crowned world champions at the AIEC Student Riding World Finals in Florida (30 December-1 January).

    The team of Lottie Kennedy, Jess Campbell and Lauren Innes (pictured top) took the victory in the gold league, pipping 2013 World Champions, Ireland, to the top spot.

    Ireland’s team of Brian Morrison, James Brennan and Peter O’Donnell finished first in the show jumping and third in dressage to give them silver in the overall combined event.

    The podium in the gold league was completed by Belgium in bronze position.

    This victory propelled Britain from third in the yearly rankings to first, to win the 2014 President’s Cup.

    SRNC USA Lauren InnesThe GB team riders all finished in the top 10, with Oxford University student Lauren Innes (pictured right) taking the individual silver medal, Jess Campbell claiming 7th and Lottie Kennedy coming 10th.

    “We knew we had a strong team but with so many talented riders from around the world we’re thrilled to have had such an amazing result,” said Lauren.

    She was narrowly beaten to the individual gold medal by Ireland’s grand prix showjumper Brian Morrison. Britta Vanschoenwinkel took the individual bronze for Belgium.

    Unlike standard Student Riding Nations Cups (SRNCS), the World Finals have two leagues ­— gold and silver.

    Nations gain points during the year in the SRNCS’ series with the top six countries competing in the coveted gold league and the remaining nine countries in silver.

    British individual rider Steph Gunn came eighth individually in the silver league and was part of a mixed international team that won overall silver, which included Irish rider Tori Dixon.

    GB team representative Henry Womersley-Smith said the win in Florida has “topped off a great year and bodes well for 2015.”

    “It is also brilliant to have support from the British Equestrian Federation once again and the team and I would like to thank them very much,” he added.

    The competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre in Florida was hosted by the American Student Rider Organisation.

    Countries competing this year included Britain, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, USA, France, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada.

    The AIEC series resumes in March in Belgium; for more information visit www.gbstudentriders.co.uk

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