The Racesafe British Junior squad was back on form at this year’s FEI Junior European Eventing Championships with the riders bringing home not only team and individual gold but also individual bronze under their new Chef d’Equipe, Ginnie Keen.
The Championship is held annually for Junior riders aged between 14 and 18* and this year took place at Vale Sabroso in Portugal (7-11 September 2011).
Eighteen year old Zoe Brenan took the individual gold title with her ride Latino K having been in bronze position going into the showjumping phase. Despite never having been on a team before, Zoe kept her cool and jumped a fantastic clear round. Her team-mate, David Doel also added nothing to his dressage score with Kings Cross and brought home individual bronze. Individual silver went to French rider Kevin Seignier with Or Du Genet.
Five of the six squad members finished in the top ten with only two poles and two time faults in the showjumping round between them. Despite leading the competition in the dressage and cross country phases, the youngest of the squad, Emily King who rode as an individual (meaning her scores did not affect the team result) unfortunately had two poles down but she finished in a very respectable seventh place at her first ever Championship event.
Ginnie Keen said of the Juniors’ success: “I am so proud of all of our riders, they were brilliantly good at keeping cool heads in a very tight situation since there were very few penalties separating the top twenty riders. The entire Junior squad, that is those who were riding and those behind the scenes, worked extremely well together to bring off an amazing result.”
The final team standings were:
Gold – Britain, 145
Silver – Germany, 153.4
Bronze – France, 158.7
British squad final positions:
Gold – Zoe Brennan (Latino K), 46.9
Bronze – David Doel (Kings Cross), 47.9
8th Bethany Stephenson (Family Affaer), 50.2
18th Tom Jackson (Waltham Fiddlers Find), 56.0
7th Emily King (Mr Hiho), 49.9
9th Lottie Kennedy (Little Miss Sunshine), 51.6
British Junior Champions of the past include house-hold Eventing names such as Lucinda Green, Karen Straker, Tina Cook, William Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell, Emily Llewellyn and Laura Collett.
*Junior riders are those aged between their 14th to 18th year riding horses.