Tight at the top after dressage at Junior European Eventing Championships

  • The NAF-sponsored British junior team have got proceedings off to a strong start at the FEI Junior European Eventing Championships at Maarsbergen, in the Netherlands (10-14 July) after the dressage phase.

    Saffron (Saffie) Osborne is the best-placed Brit, sitting in individual silver medal position ahead of tomorrow’s cross-country. Riding Lord and Lady Blyth’s nine-year-old Lakantus (pictured), Saffie posted a score of 24.8 earlier today.

    “I was really chuffed with how Lakantus went, but unfortunately we had a costly error where he changed legs in the counter canter,” explained 17-year-old Saffie, the reigning European pony eventing champion, who is contesting her first year in juniors. “But he held himself really well and we picked up some great marks apart from that, so I was pleased.”

    Germany’s Anna Lena Schaaf leads the way with Fairytale 39, just .7 of a penalty ahead of Saffie.

    Germany also lead the team competition, just .6 of a penalty ahead of Britain, who are on a team score of 83.6, with German rider Anna-Catrin Bierlein (Auf Geht’s Fraeulein Hummel) in individual bronze on 25.3.

    The Irish team is third on a score of 95.1, with Lilly Keogh the best of their riders in fourth on 28.8.

    The next best-placed Brit is Leilia Paske, who is sixth with Billy Mcfee on 29, while Georgia Bartlett, is seventh with Spano de Nazca on 29.8. Alice Casburn, an individual rider for Britain is 41st on 36.4 with Topspin and Elicia Miller, who was a late call up to the squad after Saffron Cresswell suffered concussion in a fall at Barbury last weekend, is 57th with A Sunny Bay on 38.4.

    Fellow British rider, Milo Kennedy, unfortunately withdrew his mount Moher Prince from the holding box at the first horse inspection, which means the squad are fielding just five riders.

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    The cross-country looks like it will be a true championship test, starting at 8.30am (BST) tomorrow.

    “It seems like a really good course — it’s big and bold with some technical combinations and hopefully the time will be tight so it will be a good competition,” said Saffie.

    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.

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