The British contingent of Youth riders rode with professionalism and cool in the heat of the FEI Junior and Young Rider European Championships at San Giovanni in Marignano, near Rimini in Italy (24 – 28 July 2019).
The Team NAF Young Riders gained invaluable championship experience and showed much potential in the face of soaring temperatures at the fabulous Horses Riviera Resort, whilst our Juniors, competing as individuals, each admirably achieved placings amongst the top ranked riders.
Young Riders gain valuable mileage
Team NAF’s Young Rider trio showed much promise despite not quite achieving the ‘clear rounds’ they’d hoped for. Team pathfinder Rebecca Bell and the gorgeous British bred Nibeley Union Hit delivered a solid 66.61% on day one of the Team competition, even though they had some costly mistakes. They went on to score 66.08% in their Individual test which showed more power in the trot but with a couple of miscommunications in the canter section keeping their score in check.
Alex Hellings and Uvender V had a challenging start to the week with an uncharacteristic 64.38% in the Team competition. The warm up went well for Alex and ‘Uvi’ but tension crept into their test, affecting the way of going. Alex and the evergreen Uvi (18) showed what a great team they are by bouncing back with a super 67.58% to finish 41st in the Individual and best of the Brits. Hellings and Bell have a collection of Pony Europeans medals between them and were on the same silver medal-winning team in 2014, so are championship riders who will only build on this experience.
Championship debutant Rebecca Swain presented strong highlights with Bon Jovi. Mistakes in the Team competition were expensive, resulting in an uncharacteristic 63.11%. However they showed character to come back with a 67.41%-earning Individual. Rebecca and ‘Bobby’, who this year achieved wins at Compiègne and Keysoe CDIs, have heaps of ability which, combined with this championship experience, gives them a very bright future to look forward to.
Germany headed the team competition, spearheaded by Semmieke Rothenberger and the black 12 year old mare Dissertation (Don Crusador x Glückspilz) who earned a phenomenal 77.55%. The German star was unbeatable all week, winning the Individual with 78.94% and the Freestyle on 78.05%.
Juniors make their mark
Great Britain’s Junior representatives for Team NAF, Jessica McConkey and Charlotte McDowall, enjoyed an awesome European Championships at San Giovanni in Marignano. Jessica rode the test of her career so far with the beautiful mare Lady Gaga (Quaterback x Solos Landwind) for a personal best score of 71.587% and 13th out of 78 in the Team competition. They then scored an admirable 68.08% in the Individual.
Charlotte McDowall and Alivia meanwhile, scaled the ranks from 57th in the Team test due to a couple of mistakes, to 16th in in the Individual with plus-70% securing them a coveted place in the Freestyle final. The elegant partnership of just 12 months posted a victory at Keysoe CDIJ earlier this year with their tried and tested freestyle routine, and this time, under Italian skies, impressed again. The panel of Oliver Smeets (BEL) at E, Elke Ebert (GER) at H, Barbara Ardu (ITA) at C, Clive Halsall (GBR) at M and Hans-Christian Matthieson (DEN) at B awarded the Brit 70.425% to finish in the top 15.
“I have had the most incredible time at the Europeans here in Italy,” said Charlotte. “‘Liv’ has been an absolute star all week and after a couple of mistakes on my part in the team test, I am still in complete shock that we managed to score 70.3% in the individual yesterday to place 16th (out of 77!) and qualify for the freestyle. It was a dream come true to be able to ride it here and despite a pretty tired Liv, we managed to score 70.4% to finish 15th.”
It was a clean sweep for Germany as they added the Junior team title to their haul, with Jana Schrödter claiming Individual and Freestyle Gold with Der Erbe, an 11 year old Oldenburg stallion son of Dimaggio.
The 2019 FEI Junior and Young Rider Europeans has been another great Championship for Team NAF, both for some promising individual achievements and also the opportunity it’s given riders to compete against the very best in Europe. British Dressage thanks team supporters NAF, equestrian kit suppliers LeMieux, and all the support teams behind our Championship representatives including Team Trainer Paul Fielder, Team Vet Robert Oulton, Stable Manager Liz Walsh, Chef d’Equipe Nina Boex and the panel of selectors.
Congratulations to the team at Horses Riviera Resort for delivering a world class championships for Juniors, Young Riders, U25s and Children on Horses.
Young Rider Team
1st Semmieke Rothenberger with Dissertation, 77.559% (GER)
30th Rebecca Bell with Nibeley Union Hit, 66.618% (GBR)
45th Alexandra Hellings with Uvender V, 64.382% (GBR)
52nd Rebecca Swain with Bon Jovi, 63.118% (GBR)
1st Germany, 74.745
2nd The Netherlands, 73.030
3rd Sweden, 69.687
Young Rider Individual
1st Semmieke Rothenberger with Dissertation, 78.941% (GER)
41st Alexandra Hellings with Uvender V, 67.588% (GBR)
43rd Rebecca Swain with Bon Jovi, 67.412% (GBR)
49th Rebecca Bell with Nibeley Union Hit, 66.088% (GBR)
1st Valentina Pistner with Flamboyant OLD, 76.940% (GER)
13th Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga, 71.576% (GBR)
57th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 66.879% (GBR)
1st Germany, 76.081
2nd The Netherlands, 73.485
3rd Denmark, 71.959
1st Jana Schrödter with Der Erbe, 77.971% (GER)
16th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 70.353% (GBR)
39th Jessica McConkey with Lady Gaga, 68.088% (GBR)
1st Jana Schrödter with Der Erbe, 78.440% (GER)
15th Charlotte McDowall with Alivia, 70.425% (GBR)
For full results click here.
Visit the BD Youth page for daily photos and stories from the event, click here.