British show jumping received a much needed boost, when our under-21 quartet, Richard and James Davenport, Robert Whitaker and Nicky Boulter won team gold at the Junior European Championships in Gijon, Spain.
Going into the second round in the lead on five faults, the home side finished decisive winners after adding just one time fault to their total.
Germany took the silver (18) and Holland the bronze (24).
“This was a true team performance where everyone got behind the riders,” said chef d’equipe Mike Florence. “They made their minds up that they were going to win and they were very professional in their outlook.”
BSJA chairman Peter Gillespie, who travelled out to Gijon after a busy programme course building in Ireland, was also full of praise for the team’s performance.
“This is a great up lift to British showjumping, I’m delighted”.
In a tense individual competition, James Davenport and Florie Du moulin produced one of only two first round clears. They were lying in gold medal position going into the second round. However, faults in the second round relegated the Cheshire rider to silver medal position.
Hollandf’s Gert Jan Bruggink and Joel clinched the gold, while Sonke kohrock and Liberty took the bronze back to Germany.
How the juniors finished
In the under-18 team European Championship Great Britain’s quartet of Lee Williams, Jemima Daly, Ben Maher and Ricky Hill finished in equal fourth place with the host team Spain, on 34 faults.
Just two time faults dropped the British team out of a possible silver medal position.
Decisive winners were Germany, who finished on 24 faults, with silver going to Holland (32) andbronze to France (32).
“Full credit to the team. Everyone’ stuck to their task, and they were all outstanding” said Chef d’Equipe Mike Florence. In the individual competition, Sergio Alvarez Moya gave the home crowd something to cheer about when Flash De La Ramee earned the Spanish rider the individual gold medal, while Germany’s Felix haccmann took silver and ireland’s Micheal Kearns took bronze with Adventurine.
Highest place British riders were Lee Williams, who finished fourth on four faults and Jemima Daly who finished 13th.
For full report on the championships, see Horse & Hound (issue dated 23 July )