There was much jubilance in the Great British camp at the junior European eventing championships today (23 July) as they took individual gold and team silver medals in Millstreet, Ireland.
Isabelle (Bubby) Upton led from start to finish to claim gold on Eros DHI, incurring two time-faults, which she could afford. The pair finished 3.9 penalties clear of their nearest rivals.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet — I can’t believe it, I’m in a dream world,” smiled Bubby. “I was confident and he jumped clear when it really mattered,” she said, referring to the fact ‘Ero’ has had one pole down at his past four events in the UK.
Bubby prevented a German whitewash with three of their team riders claiming silver, bronze and fourth. They were Gesa Staas (St Stacy), Emma Brussau (Donnerstag 20) and Antonia Baumgart (Little Rose 9).
“We’re very happy and we’ve had such a nice time,” said Emma. “We must thank our new trainer Julia Krajewski [German Olympic eventer] — she is our idol and we’re glad we have done her proud.”
Phoebe Locke jumped one of the best rounds of the day on the super-consistent Union Fortunas, notching up a clear to wind up in fifth.
“He’s amazing and I couldn’t have asked for any more,” said an emotional Phoebe of her 10 year old, that has only lowered two poles during the past two seasons.
Third British team member, Richard Coney, was seventh with Kananaskis, again notching two time-faults in an otherwise beautiful clear round.
“I didn’t think I was going that slowly, but my horse jumped so well,” said Richard.
Final team rider, Imogen White knocked two fences and clocked three time-faults to be 26th with Emill.
“He was very spooky, but I’m so lucky to be here,” said Imogen, making her British team debut.
Individual rider Sasha Hargreaves rose 26 places after the dressage to finish 21st with Playtime. The pair jumped a great round, picking up one time-fault.
“He’s improved so much and it’s so emotional to have gone so well,” said a tearful Sasha.
The other British individual rider, Holly Needham, didn’t have the best time in the showjumping with Strike A Pose, incurring 21 faults to sit in 41st place.
“I have always known that he’s quirky,” said a disappointed Holly. “We were flying by the end so it’s a shame.”
The team standings remained unchanged from after the cross-country.
Germany took the gold with a winning margin of 11.5 penalties from Britain in silver. Although Ireland fought to move from fourth to third, two fences down and a time-fault prevented them from doing so, which meant France kept the bronze.
There was huge disappointment for one combination the
Find out how Britain's junior eventers have finished
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.