WEG reining: Josh Collins flies the British flag

  • Great Britain’s Josh Collins is through to the individual final in the reining at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

    Josh, 24, from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, produced a storming run from Spook A Little in the second individual qualifier to score 218.

    The consolation round, which allowed the riders in 16th-35th place after the first rounds to compete for a place in Saturday’s final, used a different pattern (test) from that ridden in the team event.

    This allowed Josh to showcase Spook A Little’s powerful, precise spins to best advantage, and he scored plus-ones for this manoeuvre in both directions. Accurate lead changes and strong sliding stops kept the marks up to put him just two points behind the USA’s Troy Heikes, who won this round, and took him into the final.

    “The plan was to score as well as in this round as we did in the team event and now I aim to really go for it in the final,” said Josh.

    Also qualifying for the final are Canada’s Cody Sapergia, Italy’s Stefano Ferri, and by tying on a score of 216.5, both France’s Romuald Poard and Brazil’s Paulo Koury Neto.

    In seventh place, Britain’s Doug Allen missed out on a place in the final by a whisker, improving on his first round score with six-year-old Hangten Shiner.

    Francesca Sternberg and Jessica Sternberg also acquitted themselves well in this highly competitive round, where there were just 10 marks between first and 21st place.

    Watch H&H’s video interview with Jessica

    Chef d’equipe Adam Heaton said: “Josh put in a brilliant performance for a great score and the whole team is elated. Doug was really unlucky to be edged out of a place in the final on a really exciting young horse, which has a lot more to come.”

    Second qualifying competition results

    1. Troy Heikes (USA) – Lil Gun Dunit 220

    2. Cody Sapergia (Canada) – Nu Chexomatic 219

    3. Josh Collins (Great Britain) – Spook A Little 218

    4. Stefano Ferri (Italy) – Rooster Nic 217

    =5. Paulo Koury Neto (Brazil) – Don’t Whiz WRB 216.5

    =5. Romuald Poard (France) – Peppys Ruf Sailor 216.5

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