Young British showjumpers lead the way in Nations Cups

  • Britain’s young showjumpers were in devastating form at three levels at the weekend (16-18 May).

    The children’s and ponies Nations Cup teams were victorious in Belgium, and a young senior team dominated the FEI Furusiyya Nations Cup in Denmark.

    World Class Showjumping performance manager Rob Hoekstra had selected a relatively new squad of horse and rider combinations for the CSI 3* Nations Cup show at Odense: Holly Gillott (Dougie Douglas), Tim Page (Santa Cruise II), Harriet Nuttall (Touch Imperious), pictured, and Jessie Drea (Touchable). Both Holly and Harriet were senior Nations Cup debutantes.

    Pathfinder Holly jumped double clear in the Nations Cup competition, and showed this was no fluke by landing the following day’s £30,000 grand prix with a speedy double clear.

    Holly paid full credit to her horse. “He is only 9 years old and I can’t believe he went so well,” she said.

    Britain — fielding the youngest team in the competition — were in second place at the halfway stage, but their improved performance while Switzerland made mistakes, secured the win. Fourth rider Jessie Drea didn’t need to jump her final round after the final French rider knocked two down.

    Chef d’equipe Di Lampard said: “They were brilliant today — young riders and absolutely fantastic. All were in form and it came together at exactly the right moment.”

    Meanwhile, Britain’s children and ponies’ teams were also on fire over at Bonheiden.

    London 2012 team gold medallist Peter Charles’ son Harry, 14, led the pony “Team Fairfax” (Jared Lunn, Leonie Aitkenhead and Charlotte Ash) with a double clear, incurring just a time-fault — the team’s top score. But the 1.30m course proved very influential, and their total of 17pen was enough to win with a fence in hand over home side Belgium and the Netherlands.

    Earlier, the children’s Team Fairfax (for children aged 14 and under, riding horses) put in several strong performances over a tough 1.25m track.

    Tara Brytt, 13, opened the account with a double clear, which was emulated by second-to-go Scarlett Charles, sister of Harry.

    Michael Whitaker’s son Jack, 12, fell in round one, but made amends with a winning clear in the second. Although anchorman Will Edwards jumped his first round clear, he didn’t need to ride again as Jack’s second-round clear secured the title. Belgium were again second, with Germany third.

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