The FEI Children, Junior and Young Rider European Championships at Magna Racino in Austria saw Great Britain’s Juniors secure Team Bronze in an incredibly hard fought competition.
Representing Great Britain on the team of four whom compete in Nations Cup format with the three best scores of the four counting across both rounds of competition were:
17 year-old Chloe Aston from Tring, Hertfordshire partnering her own 10 year-old bay gelding Kolibri Classic. Chloe is currently heading the GBR Young Rider Ranking List which reflects all riders under the age of 21years on horses.
17 year-old Tim Wilks from Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire with In Showjumpers British Bred 8 year-old Chestnut Mare Spirit VIII
17 year-old Abbie Newbery from Southampton, Hampshire partnering Valentino VII the 10 year-old grey gelding jointly owned by Sharifa Al-Homaizi and Tony Newbery
15 year-old Jake Saywell from Newark, Nottinghamshire with Rachel Gascoine’s 11 year-old Grey Gelding Cornelius 27
The first round of the competition saw both Chloe and Abbie produce foot perfect clears, with Jake incurring an unfortunate 4 penalties and Tim Wilkes being the drop score having incurred 8 penalties. Finishing round one with their 4 penalties being carried forward Great Britain found themselves sharing the leaderboard with Ireland, Belgium and France resulting in all of the teams feeling the added pressure of knowing that even a time penalty may make a difference of a medal position.
Maintaining the same order of go in the second round it was Chloe who was once again pathfinder for the team, however an uncharacteristic three fences down meant a 12 penalty score. Next for Great Britain was Jake Saywell who pulled us back into the running by producing a foot perfect clear. A performance which was mirrored by Abbie Newbery who took the position of third member for the team.
France having incurred faults with two members of their team still had a chance of the medals if their final rider went clear. Ireland had incurred 20 penalties with their second rider and Belgium 8 penalties with their third meaning it really was anyone’s game depending on how the fourth team members performed.
Tim Wilks, taking the position of anchor returned home having had two fences down and a total of 8 penalties meaning that we finished on a total of 12 penalties across both rounds. France going after us didn’t have the round they had been hoping for with the final rider coming through the finish on a total of 20 penalties resulting in a finish score for them of 17penalties which pushed them out of the running.
Next to go was Belgium, who were banking on a 4 penalties or less score if they weren’t to finish on a match score with ourselves. However, three fences down and a time fault by their final rider meant that we were definitely into a two-way jump off position and potentially a three-way one depending on how Ireland went.
With everyone watching with baited breath, Ireland’s Sven Hadley put in the third clear for them in the second round securing themselves the Gold medal position. This then left Great Britain having to fight it out for Silver in a jump off.
With all members of the team expected to jump again where not only penalties but also time could play a factor. Chloe having put her previous round behind her put in another superb clear round performance, but an unsettled round by Jake saw them incur 28 penalties. Next to go Abbie, incurred 6 penalties when a pole rolled and by coming through the finish just outside the time allowed. With Belgium at this point sitting on a total of 5 penalties it was their third rider that secured the Silver medal for them as jumping clear it meant that they couldn’t be beaten.
Corinne Bracken, Chef d’equipe and Team Coach for the Junior team commented “It was a brilliant end to an incredibly long day. Our first horse was in the arena just before 7:45am local time and we stepped off the podium almost thirteen hours later. There were 21 nations contesting this year’s championships and for our riders to achieve a bronze medal across a field of both this size and strength shows an outstanding performance. I’m incredibly proud of them today and we now look forward to supporting the Children and Young Riders along with the Juniors own preparations for the Individuals over the weekend”.
Team Gold Ireland 4 penalties
Team Silver Belgium 12 penalties
Team Bronze Great Britain 12 penalties
Chloe Aston / Kolibri Classic (0/12/0)
Jake Saywell/Cornelius 27 (4/0/28)
Abbie Newbery/Valentino (0/0/6)
Tim Wilkes/Spirit VIII (8/8/-)
For full results and further information from the championships please visit www. www.em-magnaracino.at
The British Showjumping Teams are strongly supported by the UK Sport Lottery funded BEF World Class Programme and further sponsored by Animo UK.