Having put themselves in a strong position during Tuesday’s first qualifier with three of the four Team NAF riders jumping clear to keep the team on a zero penalty score, the young Brits knew that it was all to play for today. Under the watchful eye of Chef d’Equipe Clare Whitaker, the horses and riders delivered clears aplenty to ensure that the team carried no penalties forward to the Gold and Silver medal jump off with Belgium. Great Britain then held their nerve to deliver three jump off clears, a tally that the Belgians could not match.
Fourteen year-old Angel Tough from Manchester took the role of team pathfinder today with the British bred Callumbus, a 10 year-old bay gelding owned by Emerson Tough. Angel picked up 5 penalties in Tuesday’s first qualifying competition to become the drop score, but she entered the arena today with great confidence and determination, duly delivering an immaculate double clear to get the Brits off to a flying start.
Jocasta Symons, aged 14, from Marlborough, Wiltshire was next to go with the British bred Concordette RR, a 10 year-old bay mare owned by Julie Symons. This combination came forward to this afternoon’s second round of team competition with a zero penalty score after having jumped two initial clears. They were unfortunate to collect 4 penalties in the final round of the team competition.
Third in was 13 year-old Matilda Lanni from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and she has so far had a brilliant Championships with Newbridge’s Master Brown, an 11 year-old bay gelding owned by Stacey Webb. Across the three rounds, this talented combination have jumped clear to ensure that progress forward to the Individual medal competition with zero penalties.
Oliver Fletcher, aged 14, from Faringdon, Oxfordshire was today’s team anchor with Disckoboy D.N., a 9 year-old grey gelding owned by Lady Kirkham and Lady Harris. Belying his age, Oliver showed great maturity when under pressure. Having come to this afternoon’s final round with two clears under his belt, Oliver knew that only a clear would do in order for GB to be able to jump off for the Gold medal on offer and he duly delivered and bagged his third clear of the competition.
After two rounds of highly competitive jumping, Great Britain and Belgium were tied on a fantastic score of zero penalties which lead to a jump off for the Team Gold and Silver medals. Entering the arena with great hopes, Angel Tough, Jocasta Symons and Matilda Lanni all secured brilliant clears whilst the Belgians finished with just the one clear round and two 4 penalty scores for 8 overall. Such was the form of his teammates, Oliver Fletcher was not required to jump again and the team punched the air with delight when realising that they had become European Champions. The Polish team were the eventual winners of the Team Bronze after winning their jump off against Denmark.
The Children will now compete for their Individual medals on Saturday 12th August. Both Matilda Lanni and Oliver Fletcher sit on zero penalties for joint first place whilst Jocasta Symons and Angel Tough are within striking distance on 4 and 5 penalties respectively.
The Team NAF Young Riders were also in action earlier on today and they got their medal campaign off to an incredibly strong start in the first round of their team competition. Competing under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Tony Newbery, all four of the team riders produced solid rounds to leave GB sitting in the Silver Medal position overnight on 8 penalties, just a single penalty behind the leaders Belgium. Jake Saywell with Havinia van de Roshoeve is topping the individual leader board after producing two fantastic clear rounds over the last two days.
Both the Young Rider and Junior teams will be jumping for their respective team medals tomorrow.
For further information on the show and full results, visit www.xbionicsphere.com/en/eques tor.
British Showjumping would like to thank NAF, title sponsors of the Senior Nations Cup Teams along with the Children, Junior and Young Rider teams.
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The GBR showjumping teams are supported by the British Equestrian Federation’s World Class Programme, funded by UK Sport through the National Lottery. The Programme focuses on identifying talent, developing potential and maximising medal-winning performances on the world stage.