Top British rider’s son crowned young rider European champion: British youth celebrate medals haul

Britain’s young riders have done their country proud at the European Championships in France, bringing home double showjumping gold and eventing individual bronze.

This was on top of success at the junior championships, which were held at Fontainebleau at the same time, in which the British showjumpers and the eventers both won team and individual silver.

The showjumping young rider team retained their 2017 title on Friday (13 July), which was followed by anchorman Harry Charles’ individual win yesterday, his 19th birthday.

Eventer Alex Kennedy followed her individual silver from last year with a podium finish yesterday. The team finished just outside the medals in fourth place but three British riders were placed in the top 10.

Picture by Adam Fanthorpe

The showjumping team, Graham Babes on Boucheron, Will Fletcher on Persimmon, Amy Inglis on Wishes and Harry on Vivaldi Du Dom, had a fence in hand going into the final round.

And although Graham picked up eight faults, Will and Harry four each and Amy an unlucky time-penalty, it was enough to beat Germany and Denmark into silver and bronze positions respectively.

Harry and the 13-year-old gelding were then one of only two combinations to jump double clear yesterday to secure their victory.

“When crossing that finish line for the second time today with all of the fences still standing, Harry punched the air with delight as he knew he was about to take his place on the podium as the new young rider European champion,” said a British Showjumping spokesman, adding that the medal haul “certainly highlighted at a global level the incredible talent that we have coming up through the youth ranks”.

Amy finished in fifth place individually, with William in ninth and Graham in 22nd.

Eventing success

ALEX and Lissangle Cavaletto B went into the showjumping arena on the final day of the eventing competition in seventh place but a clear round meant the combination finished on their dressage score of 32.5 to clinch the bronze, behind winner Victor Levecque, of France, and second-placed Emma Brüssau, of Germany.

Her teammate Yasmin Ingham, on Rehy DJ, also showjumped clear to finish on the same score as Alex but in fourth place owing to the difference in dressage collective marks.

Mollie Summerland and Charly Van Ter Heiden had been in silver medal position after cross-country but lowered two fences to finish ninth overall. Fellow individual rider Lizzie Baugh had one down on Quarry Man to come 13th.

British team rider Bubby Upton lowered a showjump and picked up four time-penalties on Cola III to finish 43rd, while Sam Ecroyd’s ride Kasseedorf did not make it through the second horse inspection yesterday morning.

The team finished in fourth, behind winners France, silver medallists Italy and third-placed Sweden.

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Junior medals

ON the final day of the junior eventing championships, four showjumping clears secured team silver for Britain, while Heidi Coy and Royal Fury moved up from third place to take individual silver.

Sasha Hargreaves and Playtime, Georgia Bartlett on Spano De Nazca and Elicia Miller on Sunny Bay all also kept clean showjumping sheets for the team, while individual rider Leilia Paske on Fernhill First Friend had done the same for a 39th-place finish.

The showjumping team, Oliver Fletcher and Hello Disckoboy DN, Sienna Charles on Chaitanya 2, Robert Murphy on Newbridges Chablis SW and Jack Whitaker on Arlo De Blondel, also finished with the silver medal on Friday, while Oliver went on to take individual silver with the only double clear on the final day.

“It was really down to the wire, especially as we were the last to jump, and we couldn’t be prouder of the team,” said youth team manager Clare Whitaker on Friday. “They are a young team, they kept their cool and they’ve ridden under great pressure. They have all ridden exceptionally well and they thoroughly deserve their medal-winning position.”

The British dressage young rider team finished in sixth place. Anna Jesty on Aquiro, Lewis Carrier on Diego V, Alexander Harrison on Diamond Hill and Charlotte Dicker on Sabatini were only just over four percent outside bronze medallists Sweden’s scores, while Lewis finished 10th in the freestyle.

The one children on horses dressage rider, Lily Payne, finished sixth in the freestyle on Beckhouse Cancara, while children on horses showjumper Megan Li, on Eclips Van Erpekom, finished in equal fourth in her championship, with Madison Heath on Burgana coming 21st.

For a full report on the championships, see this week’s H&H magazine, out 19 July.