The GB Racesafe Junior eventing squad successfully defended their 2015 European team medal this weekend as they headed home from Montelibretti in Italy with a bronze medal for the second year in a row.
A strong start in the opening dressage phase from GB saw the team score 134.50 penalties to take third position behind France on 125.5 and Germany on 113.8 penalties. Individual rider Chelsea Pearce, 17 from Wiltshire, also put in a great test on Albert VI to score 45.6 penalties with fellow individual Chelsea Round, 17 from Warwickshire, and her own Fleetwood Mac V scoring 47.7.
Sixteen year old Phoebe Locke from Somerset, and the eight year old gelding Union Fortunus, owned by Phoebe and Miss Jamie-lee Day, finished best of the British team in the dressage on 43.5 penalties with Lincolnshire’s Richard Coney (17) and his own eight year old Irish gelding Kananaskis hot on their heels with 44.9. Felicity Collins, 18 from East Sussex, riding Ms Vicky Collins and Mrs Avirna Milton’s RSH Contend Or posted a 46.1 with 17 year old Bubby Upton from Suffolk on Mrs Rachel Upton’s Eros DHI scoring 47.7 for the team.
Against the beautiful Italian skyline, cross country day produced more brilliant performances with four clear rounds for the British Junior team. With all four combinations coming home within the time the team headed in to the final phase on their 134.5 penalty score and third position with France and Germany both maintaining their second and first placing respectively.
It was unfortunately not individual rider Chelsea Round and Fleetwood Mac’s day as they sadly suffered elimination at fence 16a ending their European campaign, but Chelsea Pearce, also riding as an individual,stormed home with Albert clear inside the time to stay on their 45.6 penalty dressage score.
The team fought hard in the influential show jumping phase to retain their team bronze medal, both Felicity Collins and Bubby Upton produced clear jumping rounds with Bubby adding two time penalties to their dressage score. Richard Coney and Phoebe Locke picked up a pole a piece with Richard also adding one time penalty to his score giving the team a total of 143.5 penalties and the bronze medal.
Top of the British competitors was Chelsea Pearce who finished on her dressage score following a faultless show jumping round to claim eighth place individually.
Germany received the double gold with a team win on a total score of 126.6, France finished in silver with 131.3 and GB achieved bronze with 143.5.
Germany’s Anais Neumann and Pumuckel E took individual gold on 38.5, silver went to France with Victor Levecque and Phunambule des Auges on 40.8 with Sweden’s Sofia Sjoborg and DHI Mighty Dwight taking bronze with 41.3 penalties.