A British rider has progressed into the second round of the Johnson Controls reining competition at the World Equestrian Games (WEG).

Francesca Sternberg and Rosanne Sternberg’s Spook N Sparkle finished on a score of 218.5 in yesterday’s (12 September) first round at Tryon International Equestrian Center.

This was good enough for 26th place, which means the combination will take part in today’s second individual qualifying round.

“It was a fantastic experience,” Francesca said. “It was a very, very big pen for a very small horse and a small rider so it was like the desert for us out there!

“There has been a British representative at every single World Equestrian Games and me and Alison [Bucknell] wanted to fly the flag so it was an honour to go out there today with ‘Charlie’.”

This is a third WEG for Francesca, who finished in individual fifth place in 2002 on Chuka Chic, 11th on Just Gotta Shine in 2006 and 23rd on Ten Reasons in 2014. She has also represented Great Britain at two European Championships, in 2015 and 2017, finishing in team and individual fourth place in 2015 with Ten Reasons.

Alison Bucknell and Jac Barbee Dream

Alison and her own Jac Barbee Dream finished yesterday’s competition on a score of 209, and 54th place, which meant they did not go forward to today’s round.

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Alison said: “I’ve got quite a small horse and I think he found it quite tricky in there as it was a huge arena, but he tried his heart out and he gave me everything he had. I couldn’t be more pleased with him.”

It is a first WEG for Alison, who also represented Britain on Jac Barbee Dream in last year’s European Championships.

The individual reining final takes place on Saturday, when the medals will be awarded. In yesterday’s team competition, the US retained the gold, while Belgium won their third world silver and it was a first reining medal for Germany, which took bronze.

Horse & Hound has two journalists and a photographer in Tryon for WEG. Keep up to date with all the news on horseandhound.co.uk and in the magazine issues dated 20 and 27 September.