Young British riders gunning for Europeans glory as concerns about crossing the Channel rule out others

  • The British teams for the Junior and Young Rider European Championships this month have been announced.

    The FEI Junior and Young Rider European Championships will take place on British soil this year, at Hartpury, Glos, on 25-31 July. Eighteen nations are set to be represented at junior level, and 15 at young rider level, although some riders from mainland Europe have opted to withdraw owing to travel concerns.

    The British team for the Young Rider European Championships has been revealed as follows:

    Caitlin Burgess (21) with 15-year-old gelding Chocotof
    Owner: Caitlin Burgess
    Breeder: D Faro Gravenmoer
    Breeding: by Lord Leatherdale, out of Twicky, by Negro

    Anna Dalrymple (19) with 13-year-old gelding Vagabond De Massa
    Owner: Maxine Vainio
    Breeder: Silvain Massa
    Breeding: by Reito, out of Vexame, by Xaquiro

    Maddy Frewin (19) with 13-year-old gelding Eagle Nouvelle
    Owner: Hannah Dovey
    Breeder: J Hiddink
    Breeding: by Singapore, out of Nouvelle B, by Burggraaf

    Jessica McConkey (20) with 13-year-old mare Lady Gaga
    Owner: Jessica McConkey
    Breeder:  Johannes Søndergård
    Breeding: by Quatarback, out of Brunette, by Solos Landwind

    Jessica McConkey is also listed with a direct reserve horse, Wilson Stensvang. The first reserve has been announced as Lilah Gibbs, with Dude III.

    The British team for the Junior European Championships has been announced as follows:

    India Durman-Mills (18) with 13-year-old gelding Escade
    Owner: Verity Saul
    Breeder: A Van Essen
    Breeding: by Jazz, out of Jenia, by Wolfgang

    Myles Graham (15) with 15-year-old mare Nibeley Union Hit
    Owner: Caroline Bell
    Breeder: Bernerd Eley
    Breeding: by Nibeley Union Jack, out of Winter Willow, by Sandro Hit

    Annabella Pidgley (17) with eight-year-old mare Espe
    Owner: Annabella’s mother Sarah Pidgley
    Breeder: Walter and Hedda Droege
    Breeding: by Escolar, out of Delice, by Dimaggio

    Sophie Wallace (14) with 16-year-old mare Rosalie B
    Owner: Laura Tomlinson and her mother Ursula Bechtolsheimer
    Breeder: Klaus Balkenhol
    Breeding: by Rubin Royal, out of Nordmaid, by Newcastle

    The first reserve has been announced as Isobel Lickley with Mount St John Furstin Fugger, while the second reserve is Ruby Hughes with Extra Time P.

    Travel concerns prompt withdrawals

    Several riders from mainland Europe have already opted not to travel to compete at the Junior and Young Rider European Championships, due to concerns surrounding transport and in particular availability of customs slots to cross the Channel on the return journey.

    The conclusion of the European Championships is the same weekend as the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, and is also when many of the British horses will start their journey to Herning in Denmark for the World Championships, meaning delays and a lack of slots are likely.

    The first riders to announce they were pulling out of the championships were Spanish young riders Natalia Bacariza Danguillecourt (Romantico Ymas) and Felipe Montoya Martinez (Douro).

    “It would have been a pleasure to represent Spain for the sixth time at the European Championships in Hartpury, but unfortunately due to the inconveniences and uncertainties of horse travelling when leaving the UK we’ve decided not to attend this year,” said Natalia. “Wishing the best of luck to my teammates attending the championship.”

    Following this announcement, both junior riders set to compete for the Czech Republic at Hartpury – Johana Vasaryova (Firestone) and Tereza Matouskova (Paolo Il Bello) – have also decided to pull out.

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