GB Ponies triumph in Wierden

It was a tremendous win by the British pony riders, competing under the title sponsor banner of Team LeMieux in The Netherlands recently when they claimed the top spot in the Wierden Nations Cup competition.

At the end of the first round, with all four of the British riders having jumped clear, they sat in joint first place alongside Ireland on a zero penalty score. This saw the leaders two fences ahead of their closest contenders which came in the form of Italy and Germany with The Netherlands behind them on 12 penalties.

Shaunie Greig, aged 16, from Aberdeenshire with Casino Royale, a 16-year-old bay gelding owned by Anne Greig opened up for the Brits delivering a first round clear which she mirrored in the second.

The same performance was put in by the youngest member of the team, 14-year-old Claudia Moore from Brentwood, Essex with Elando van de Roshoeve, a 15-year-old bay gelding owned by Katrina Moore.

Lila Bremner, aged 15, from Swindon, Wiltshire with Lapislazuli, a 9-year-old dun gelding owned by Tessa Bremner made a great British team debut when she also came out and jumped a faultless round. Their second round saw a run-out halfway round the course at the water tray, before returning to jump it perfectly, and a 7 penalty score accrued. With Ireland having picked up 4 penalties with their first rider and then clear with the next two the pressure was really on for both nations final riders to deliver a clear.

For GB this responsibility fell to Holly Truelove, aged 15, from Brigg, Lincolnshire with Rexter d’Or, a 14-year-old grey stallion owned by Barrie Truelove.  As the penultimate rider in the competition Holly entered the arena knowing that a clear round from her was vital if the team were to still be in the running and even then, if Ireland’s final rider jumped clear, it would mean a jump off between the two countries.

In true style, Holly posted yet another foot-perfect clear within the time allowed to finish on zero penalties and really put the heat on Ireland who were now in the situation of either jumping clear or accepting they would be relegated into second place. Setting off well, their final rider Tom Wachman looked set to post a solid round but a surprise stop early on saw their hopes of victory vanish knowing that they had lost the fight and the Brits were taking the honours.

Talking afterwards, British Showjumping Youth Team Manager and Chef d’Equipe Clare Whitaker commented “All four members of the team have been great today. We finished the first round with all four having jumped clear then had a further three clear in the second. For Lila, it was her first appearance on a Nations Cup team and she was really unlucky not to post a second round clear to match her first. Holly rode exceptionally well as the final rider for the team and carrying that pressure on her shoulders. She in turn put the pressure on Ireland and it paid off. It was a great win.”