Britain just miss out on medals at Europeans

Britain just miss out on medals at Europeans

Great Britain finished seventh at the Young Rider European Dressage Championships in Compiègne in France, and narrowly missed out on an individual medal.

In the team test, Pippa Hutton (Duela) and Olivia Oakeley (Donna Summer) rode assured tests scoring 70% and 69.73% respectively.

Samantha Thurman-Baker did a great job riding Douglas IV, who was obviously affected by the electric atmosphere to score 63.78%. Amy Woodhead and Pardon were just behind on her 63.76%.

Team gold went to the Netherlands, with a team average score of 72.46%. Silver went to Germany (71.22%) and bronze to Belgium (69.71%). The British team were less than two percent behind the medals, coming seventh with 67.84%.

In the Young Riders individual competition, Olivia and her 12-year-old, who is by Dimaggio, scored 70.31% to take 13th place, while Pippa and Philip Woof’s 11-year-old chestnut mare – who is also by Dimaggio – posted 70.26% for 15th. This meant that both combinations secured a spot in the freestyle and a shot at individual honours.

Their team mates improved on their earlier results, with Samantha scoring 67.60% for 24th onboard Aram Gregory’s 11-year-old, and Amy and her 16-year-old stallion by Jonggors Weyden, scoring 65.13% for 36th.

This time it was Denmark who took gold, thanks to a great performance from Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy who scored 77.789. Germany won silver and the Netherlands took home the bronze.

In the freestyle, Olivia moved up to 12th position while Pippa took an early lead with 73.20%. Unfortunately the last three to go pushed her just out of the medals in fourth place.

Pippa is only the second British young rider to ever reach fourth place at the Europeans – the first being Charlotte Edmonds with Broomford Locarno back in 2002.

“Pippa’s a very cool customer under pressure – it’s where she really scores. She rode a fantastic freestyle,” said GB Chef d’Equipe Claire Moir. “Her result was down to flair, choreography and the confidence to take calculated risks. When it was suggested that she ride the three-time changes with one hand she simply said ‘OK, right’.”

It was the same three nations dominating the leaderboard in the freestyle, with Cathrine Dufour once again taking gold, with an impressive score of 83.600, while silver went to the Netherlands and Germany won bronze.

“The Europeans is always different from any other show,” said Claire. “We didn’t win a medal but are definitely on the right route. All we have to do now is not make mistakes – riders have got to have a clear round - then it will be within our grasp.“It was a very positive experience and the riders will come back even more determined.”