It was an awe-inspiring success for the Junior British team as they retained not only the team title, but also laid claim to individual gold and silver.
For the British Junior Eventing Team, it was a question of holding onto their early lead after the first day of dressage with three clear cross-country and show-jumping rounds which propelled them to the top spot of the podium with an impressive 30+ point lead over Ireland and Germany, finishing on a fantastic final team score of 132.6. Ireland and Germany fought hard for team silver, and it was in the end, Ireland’s 2 point lead which earned them the runner up spot. For Germany, a place on the podium was a return to normal, having missed out on a medal entirely last year in Avenches despite having been used to gold in the years 2004 to 2006.
Great Britain’s astounding result confirmed their commitment to the title which they were awarded last year in Avenches following German, French and Italian victories over the past ten years. In fact, just a look at the final scoreboard, with five out of the top seven riders all from Great Britain is a great indicator of the pipeline of talent rising through the British ranks.
The new Junior European champion, Sienna Myson Davies riding Tambourine, follows directly in the footsteps of Libby Soley, winner in 2007 and runner up this year and Laura Collett gold medallist in 2006, also putting an end to Germany’s uninterrupted individual four year reign from 2002 – 2005.
For individual bronze, you’d be forgiven if at first glance you assumed it was another Great Britain hopeful, with a name like Whittaker, but in effect, this year’s bronze medallist Frederique Whittaker riding Garie Dlatuilerie is a French national. A fitting British/French podium for the individuals as 13th century Thirlestane Castle, set in the Scottish Borders at Lauder, owes some of its origins to the Maitlands, a famous Scottish family who first came to Britain from France with William the Conqueror…
Robin Balfour, Team Manager from Great Britain commented: “It was a fantastic European Championship with some very strong teams, and our success exceeded all our expectations. The British Junior Team and our Individual riders are very talented, and the combinations worked very well together, ably demonstrating that we have an excellent core of horses and riders upon which to build teams for the future.”
Results – Team
1. Great Britain (Sienna Myson Davies/Tambourine, Libby Soley/Kachemire Le Beau, Amy Hawley/Helpful Harry, Willa Newton/Neelix)
2. Ireland (Ruth Robinson/Tamino 202, Alex Donohoe/Golden Orphan, Timothy Dennehy/Decent Gamble, Poppy De Courcy-Wheeler/Bantry Flipper)
3. Germany (Franca Ludeke/Parlando, Marie Kraack/Sinestro, Michael Terigi/Limor L, Lyn Lisette Kailing/Highlight)
8. Czech Republic