Imogen Murray, 23 from Leicestershire, made her British Team debut in style at Le Pin au Haras, for the 7th leg of the FEI Nations Cup, taking Team Silver and individual 10th place in the CICO***.
Riding Mr and Mrs Aivar Ward’s, 10-year old gelding by Young Convinced, the pair produced some of their best work in the dressage arena to sit mid table in 40th position after the first phase. It is the jumping phases where this young combination, with only a combined age of 33, show their strengths. Jumping a clear round cross country, finishing just 2 seconds over the optimum time, moved the pair up to 17th going into the final phase.
Replicating their Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials performance from May this year, Ivar Gooden and Imogen Murray produced an immaculate show jumping round to produce the only Team GBR double clear, leaving the partnership 10th individually and helping the young all female team to the Silver medal, behind a strong French home side.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with Charles’ (Ivar Gooden) performance this week. His dressage was much improved and I really couldn’t fault him in both the cross country and the show jumping. To ride for Great Britain was always going to be an honour and a special occasion, but to finish as the leading team rider and with a team medal is simply fantastic, for both myself, the team, our own eventing family and owners, without whom we simply wouldn’t be here.” – Imogen Murray
The performance comes at an incredibly exciting and important time for the young partnership as they use the trip to France as their main preparation for their second CCI**** at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials later this month. With a double clear at CCI**** already under their belts, and a strong performance in France, the combination will present as ones to watch, at the world-famous Lincolnshire event.
“We are all incredibly proud of Imogen and Charles. For all they have achieved this season and for such an impressive and mature first Team GB outing. They produced their best work from start to finish. What a fantastic, young, all-female team it has been to be a part of.” – Aivar Ward
Photo courtesy of Tim Wilkinson