Team Murka and World Class Programme U23 British Championship

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World Class Development rider, Sam Hutton was the clear winner of the fourth qualifying competition, held at Solihull Riding Club, for the jointly sponsored Team Murka and World Class Programme U23 British Championship Final that takes place at the London International Horse Show, Olympia on Saturday 17th December 2011.

The competition, which is open to riders aged 23 years or under, attracted 28 entries – with nine clear rounds coming in the first round of David Cole’s course. The subsequent jump-off saw 5 double clears; Sam, who rode Tony Newbery and Ali Ghandour’s Astral 57, produced a very quick time of 42.53 seconds to win from Chloe Aston (Chateau de Brion Quainton) who finished in a time of 47.53 seconds and Jessica Dimmock (Capello II) in 48.95 seconds. The other double clears were Abigail Newbury (Olympia III), who finished fourth in 52.11 seconds and Florence Bellm (Sodexco Vanessen) in fifth, 53.80 seconds. Laura Mantel (Touplesse) and Mark Edwards (Mammas Tinker) were sixth and seventh respectively, after both picking up 4 faults.

Through the generous support from Team Murka, the winning rider will receive £600; in addition to this, £725 worth of Training Vouchers are being given to the top six prize-winners who are currently eligible for British Team selection.

Olga White, Team Murka, commented; “It’s great to see so many different young riders competing in the qualifying rounds for the U23 British Championships 2011. We look forward to seeing many new faces at Olympia for the final.”

Corinne Bracken, Junior and Young Rider Chef d’Equipe, who watched the class, commented, “The class provided a healthy environment for new combinations and it will be exciting watching them and how they will develop over the next few months. Historically the younger riders have struggled in this class and it was good to see riders from the U18 squad give the older riders a run for their money.

“Being an early indoor show I thought the course was challenging enough, the mistakes were made on the turn back lines and related distances and I am very much looking forward to the rest of the series”.

After the four qualifying competitions held at Ingliston Country Club, Arena UK, The Hand and Solihull Riding Club, World Class Development rider Abbie Squires (Enrique) is currently leading the competition on 74 points, closely followed by Emma Stoker (China Blue) on 60 points and Nicole Pavitt (Gemmaire Precious II) with 59 points.

The World Class Development Programme is supported by Lottery and Exchequer funding via UK Sport, and seeks to identify and develop talented athletes who have shown the potential to reach the world stage. The Programme underpins World Class Performance and, together with the Equine Pathway, they comprise the Equestrian World Class Programme, incorporating the three Olympic sports of dressage, eventing, showjumping and the Paralympic sport of para-equestrian dressage.

The Programmes work closely with the three British Equestrian Federation Olympic Member Bodies; British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping, whose own training and competition programmes work hand in hand with the programmes run within World Class.

Team Murka is a sponsorship vehicle for sailing and showjumping and is committed to pursuing excellence in both sports. They sponsor British show jumper, Peter Charles, his family and his Team; supporting him to build a world class team of horses with a specific focus on the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Team Murka are currently involved in upgrading the main Equestrian Complex of the Central Russian Army Sporting Club in Moscow, plus the organization & prize money for a series of Summer and Winter showjumping competitions held at the facility. The main objective of these competitions is to raise the level of involvement and the standard of showjumping in Russia, including children, junior and young riders, amateurs and professionals. Sponsorship also extends to supporting two Russian riders.

Further qualifying competitions in the series will be held at: Aintree International Equestrian Centre; 3-6 November and Addington Manor Equestrian Centre, 16-19 November 2011.

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