‘I was so proud of him’: British riders start tussle for medals in dressage phase of European Young Rider Eventing Championships

The Saracen Horse Feeds-sponsored British team has fought hard in a very competitive dressage phase at the FEI Young Rider European Eventing Championships at Maarsbergen, in the Netherlands (10-14 July) and hold team bronze medal position going into the cross-country tomorrow.

Two combinations on the team managed to break the 70% barrier, the best of those coming in the form of Isabelle (Bubby) Upton who is fourth individually. Riding her mother Rachel’s Cola, Bubby scored 25.9, which puts her 3.8 penalties adrift of leader Jerome Robine and Gucci R Old, who scored an impressive 22.1 for Germany.

“I was so pleased with Cola — he’s very level-headed and so took a bit of a risk and got on him just 20 minutes before my test,” explained Bubby. “Unfortunately he then got quite hot and spooky in the 10-minute box and I was thinking ‘oh God’, but he was such a pro when he went into the competition arena — he’s not been in many big arenas before and everything was very close, such as the speakers and the crowd, so I was really proud of him.”

French rider Morgane Euriat holds the individual silver medal position with Baccarat d’Argonne on 23.4, while Germany’s Emma Brüssau is in bronze with Dark Desire GS on a score of 25.3.

Richard Coney is the next best-placed British rider, sitting in ninth with Kananaskis (28.8), with Felicity Collins behind him in 24th on RSH Contend OR (32.3) and the final team rider, Phoebe Locke is 27th with Union Fortunus (32.7).

The two British individual riders, Heidi Coy (Royal Fury, 32.6) and Rosa Onslow (Diamond Sundance, 33.3) are 26th and 33rd respectively.

Germany lead the team competition, 3.8 penalties ahead of France, who are on a score of 79.8, while Ireland is eighth.

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The young rider cross-country is due to get underway at 1pm (BST) tomorrow and course designer Eric Winter has set a real challenge for combinations.

“It’s very tough and big — I would say Eric has definitely built a mini-Badminton, so it’s definitely all to play for,” said Bubby.

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 26 July.