The British Junior Team riding under the Team Fairfax banner and who we are delighted to support, along with the young rider, pony and children teams, won Team Silver this morning (19th July) at their European Championships in Vejer de la Frontera in Spain.
The team consisting of the following riders put in brilliant performances to take Silver position on the podium just behind Switzerland and ahead of the Dutch team. The Team competition see’s four horse/rider combinations compete across two rounds with three of the four best rounds counting allowing for one round to be the drop score. Finishing on a total score of 12 penalties as the result of three fences being lowered, Great Britain finished just one fence behind Switzerland on 8 penalties and a jump ahead of the Dutch team on 16 penalties.
Emma O’Dwyer aged 18 from Churchdown, Gloucestershire with Joanne O’Dwyer’s 10 year-old grey mare, Miss Tonic took the role of pathfinder. An unlucky two fences down in the first round saw them as the drop score in round 1. Round 2 saw them just incur an unfortunate 4 penalties.
Jake Saywell aged 16 from Newark, Nottinghamshire with Andrew Saywell’s 8 year-old bay gelding, Farinelli Van De Zeshoek followed next for the team. A fence down in the first round saw them accrue 4 penalties, but a brilliant clear in the second round saw Great Britain move into a strong and potential medal winning position.
Laura Robinson aged 18 from Northallerton, North Yorkshire with the 14 year-old liver chestnut gelding, Cree Cruiser who is jointly owned by Neil Robinson and Geoffrey Robinson followed. Again, a good performance across both rounds saw just one fence being lowered each time with 4 penalties being accrued in both rounds.
Jessica Mendoza aged 17 from Chippenham, Wiltshire with Spirit T, a 12 year-old brown mare owned by John Roberts took the role of anchor rider for the team. In the calm and focused style that has become synonymous with those that have followed Jessica over the years, she didn’t appear to let the pressure affect her in any way at all. Having put in a brilliant clear in the first round, she followed this once again breaking the finish line on zero penalties within the time allowed. Producing one of the very few double clears achieved within the competition, Jessica’s performance was enough to ensure a medal winning finish for Great Britain and the support team standing by the arena erupting into cheers of elation.
The European Championships invited a total of 47 nations across Europe to compete with the British Team contesting the championships under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe and Team Coach Corinne Bracken. Talking after the awards ceremony Corinne commented “It was a nail biting class with no-one knowing the result until the very last horse in the competition jumped.
“The support that we’ve had at this Championship across parents, owners, grooms and family alike has definitely added to the success of the team. This has also been furthered by the representation of the World Class Showjumping Team who are elated at the result achieved. We are now all focused on hopefully delivering more positive news for Great Britain across the Young Rider and Children Teams both of whom will also be competing for Team Medals today.”
The British Youth teams are sponsored by Fairfax Saddles. It is Fairfax’s primary aim to improve the performance of the competition horse. All the saddles and girths are developed using the most advanced technology and are tested extensively. All research and design work is carried out under the direction of Vanessa Fairfax, an ex-International showjumper and University qualified designer. The company is based in Walsall and manufactures all its own products. For more information, please visit www.fairfaxsaddles.com.
The GB Showjumping Teams are strongly supported by the UK Sport Lottery funded BEF World Class Programme. The teams are further supported by Animo UK, Champion Hats, Next and Toggi.
For further information on the Championships and results, please visit www.sunshinetour.net