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Young Rider Round Up: Stars prepare for Europeans

Young Stars prepare for Europeans

Britain’s junior and young rider squads are in Greece for the 2006 FEI European Jumping Championship for Juniors and Young Riders. The competition is being held at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Markopoulo (6 to 9 July), the venue that played host to the equestrian events of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Prize money totalling EUR 60.000 will be awarded to the winning teams.
Andrew Mizon (Special Diamond), Sarah Needham (Kingston II) and Joe Whitaker (Desdemona) comprise the junior squad, along with Hannah Paul (Saffier Van De Brandkreek) and William Whitaker (Carnaval Path).

The senior team includes James Billington (Iqbal Des Hayettes), Portia Howard (Oscar IX), Gemma Paternoster (Osiris), Charlotte Platt (Lacanda) and Ryan Prater (Ocombo De L’eau).

A record number of 30 countries are partaking in this year’s Championship including France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Spain. As host nation Greece also boasts full teams in both categories for the first time.

Pony team en route to France

The John Whitaker International Pony Squad will be taking part in the Pony European Championships in Saumur, France (25 – 30 July). The five-strong team is yet to be announced but will be selected from the following squad:

Matthew Sampson
Louise Saywell
Rebecca Roe
Roberta Roe
Brett Gardner
Daniel Neilson
Danielle Willett
Jordan Whitaker

Young eventers sweep the board

Britain’s junior eventers stormed the senior CCI* at Avenches in Switzerland (22-25 June), taking the top six places, writes Pippa Roome.

Georgie Spence, 17, won her second three-day event in little over a month when she took top honours on Trenear. Georgie has already been named for the squad for the junior European Championships at Necarne in September after taking the under-18 national title at Chepstow in May with Song For Gull. Trenear is on the shortlist as a possible reserve horse.

“Someone said to my mum they should buy me a cheap watch for my mini Grand Slam,” said Georgie, who kicked off her treble with the junior CCI* at Necarne last year. “I’m delighted with Trenear. The course wasn’t that difficult, but there were a few problem fences.”

A’ level student Charlotte Greenlees, 17, took second on James, who she bought from Cressida Clague Reading 18 months ago. “I was the second in for the dressage and only found out I was on the Thursday, not Friday, at about 10pm Wednesday,” said Charlotte. “But he went really well in all three phases and I couldn’t have asked any more of him.”

Charlotte rose from fifth after dressage to third overnight with a clear cross country round inside the time, despite an early setback. She explained: “I had a bit of a problem starting — James ran off because there were some carriage horse classes near the start and he didn’t like them. I lost about 15sec, but he was still well inside the time. He’s very honest.”

Junior team trainer Gill Watson was delighted with the result. “We took 15 juniors and they all acquitted themselves well,” she said. “To end up with the top six places and ninth [Eleanor Barns-Graham on Shadow Light] was beyond our wildest dreams.” Gill also spoke highly of the venue, which will host the Junior European Championships next year.

“There was a lot going on — flat and trotting racing, a three-day event for carriage drivers and show jumping, but at this racecourse they have a lot of space. There probably won’t be quite so much going on next year, but there are excellent facilities and they made us very welcome.”

The EQUEST Associates Combined Training Arena Event

A new combined training competition generously sponsored by EQUEST has been introduced for Associate Members of The Pony Club.

Associate Membership is available for persons aged over 21 until the end of the Pony Club Year, or the Centre Membership Subscription Year, whichever is relevant, in which they become 25 years old. Associate Members must previously have been either Branch or Centre Members.

The competition is scheduled for Wednesday 23rd August during The Pony Club Championships at Sansaw Park, Shropshire.

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