‘It’s a dream come true’ — British young riders win a medal of each colour at eventing Europeans

The FEI Young Rider European Eventing Championships went down to the wire on the final day at Maarsbergen in The Netherlands this afternoon (14 July). The French team had a 9.5 penalty advantage going into the showjumping, but when Morgane Euriat, the French overnight leader lowered three poles, victory went to the Saracen Horse Feeds-sponsored British team. The team consisted of Felicity Collins (RSH Contend OR), Phoebe Locke (Union Fortunus), Richard Coney (Kananaskis) and Isabelle (Bubby) Upton with Cola. The Netherlands won team bronze, some 57 penalties behind France.

“I’m just so happy for everyone, because it really is a team effort and we’ve all been fantastic,” said Bubby, who also secured individual silver. “What Cola has done this week is beyond all expectations and I’m just so, so proud of him. His showjumping has come on so much this year with the help of my amazing trainers, Tina Fletcher and John Ledingham. I was in the fortunate position where I could have a rail down and still hold onto bronze and to win team gold is such a dream come true.”

The British team completed their full set of medals with Heidi Coy clinching individual bronze on Royal Fury. Heidi, who won double silver at the Junior Europeans last year, was competing as an individual in what is her first year in the young rider ranks.

“I can’t believe it — to climb up from 26th after the dressage to third is amazing and I never ever thought I would win another medal,” said Heidi, who capitalised on a fast clear cross-country round yesterday, being one of only four combinations to make the optimum time. “I was really nervous because I wanted to do well for myself and I didn’t want to let anyone down, but then equally on the other hand it’s just great to be here and I thought if I could finish in the top 20 I would be really happy.”

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Germany’s Emma Brüssau won individual gold with the 10-year-old mare, Dark Desire GS. Third after the first phase, Emma finished on her 25.3 dressage, just .6 of a penalty ahead of Bubby.

“It has been an amazing week,” said Emma. “Every phase was really good, my mare was focused throughout and gave her best — I’m really proud. I know she’s a really good jumper and she hasn’t faulted for the past two years so I trusted her.”

The rest of the British squad also put in great performances. Richard Coney was seventh, Rosa Onslow was 12th with Diamond Sundance, Felicity Collins was 15th and Pheobe Locke showjumped clear to finish 33rd, despite her disappointment incurring penalties across country.

Read about 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.