BRITISH chef d’equipe Mike Florence is ecstatic after British show jumpers took team gold and bronze at the 2008 FEI Jumping Championship for juniors and young riders in Prague.
From a starting field of 18 nations, the British junior team won gold on Sunday and earlier in the week the young riders team took bronze.
In the juniors competition 17-year-old Matthew Sampson, riding Indy 28, was pathfinder, jumping clear in both rounds.
Louise Saywell (18), riding Cyprianus Z, produced a clear in the first but finished with four penalties in the second.
And 18-year-old Daniel Neilson and High Tone Z finished the first round with four penalties and then jumped clear in the second.
Finally 15-year-old Marla Lovett and Emily 46 had 21 penalties in the first and 12 in the second.
Matthew Sampson came fourth individually and Daniel Neilson fifth.
Daniel said: “It’s great winning individual medals but there is a special buzz about winning with a team.”
And Matthew told H&H: “We have some brilliant riders on the team and I think this bodes well for British show jumping.”
The young riders team was made up of Ryan Prater on Whisker, Gemma Plumley with Lutine Du Charmois, Hannah Paul and Sirius III and William Whitaker with Sarlino.
The Swiss team won gold and The Netherlands silver. William Whitaker came fourth individually.
Mike Florence said: “It was absolutely brilliant. I put it down to giving our youngsters international experience.”
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (24 July, ’08)