This year’s Eventing Pony European Championships were held over the weekend at Jazkowo in Poland. Team positions were closely fought with less than two points separating the winning teams.
This year, team gold went to the French (157.7 penalties) who were followed into silver by the Irish team (157.8). Britain’s Charles Owen sponsored Pony squad added a team bronze (159.2) and individual silver medal to their impressive European championship record. Flintshire-based Sam Ecroyd followed up his recent form by bringing home individual silver for the British team riding his mother Penny’s grey mare Three Wells Breeze.
The team was Northants rider Sophie Beaty (Done and Dusted IV), Janou Bleekman (Cregaan Scenic), Sam Ecroyd (Three Wells Breeze) and Grace Walker (Noble Springbok). Pumbaa Goess-Saurau (Killacoran Blue) and Madeleine Taylor (Bandalera) represented Britain as individuals.
The squad had some excellent performances including three riders in the top ten in Friday’s dressage phase putting Britain in to Silver position. Six clear rounds across-country within the time on Saturday then put the British team in contention for team gold.
On Sunday, the British team management was very surprised when the FEI Ground Jury deemed Noble Springbok unfit to complete the show-jumping phase since they had no concerns regarding the pony’s soundness following the cross country phase. Despite this, the rest of the team stepped up to the mark with Sam and two of the team debutants Maddie and Janou putting in faultless rounds. Sophie and Pumbaa also put in good performances in the final phase.
Chef d ’equipe Sarah Hancox said of the squad’s fantastic achievements: “I would like to thank the team for their brilliant behaviour and attitude, they all remained solid and steadfast throughout the ups and downs of the week, as did the parents who truly entered into the spirit of the team-camp.
“The support team was as usual fantastic in making sure the ponies and riders arrived safely and looked fantastic. The riders really held their nerve on Sunday for the jumping, and I am delighted with the result that they achieved.”
The British Team Management would like to confirm that Noble Springbok did not sustain injury and will be out competing again soon.
photo by Helen Revington.
For more information on our Youth Teams go to www.britisheventing.com/youtheventing and search for Ponies. Next up for British Eventing’s Pony programme will be the Charles Owen Pony three day event at Shropshire’s Weston Park International (6-9 October 2011).
For more details on Charles Owen products head to www.charlesowen.co.uk