High flying Brits open Individual medal competition in style
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With Britain's bronze success still buzzing amongst the Youth team contingent, the medal mentality continued into the first day of Individual competition at the FEI European Championships for Juniors and Young Riders.
Just one home-nation Junior rider drew a position on the opening day of competition for the 53-strong group of talented riders in the hunt for FEI glory with Myles Graham first up to represent the Brits. On board Rebecca Bell's dignified mare Nibeley Union Hit, Myles once more proved that he's a talent to be reckoned with treating the spectators at Hartpury to one of the standout tests of the day in the Junior arena. Polished riding produced a spattering of 7.5s from the ground jury watching on around Hartpury International Arena 1, with Myles showing the British-bred mare's strengths in two explosive medium and extended canter lines, well-positioned trot half passes and a smart final halt. The score for the combination - a 71.118% - leaves them in fifth position overnight with 28 Juniors set to strive for success tomorrow afternoon. The judges panel of Lars Andersson (E), Jean-Michel Roudier (H), Elke Ebert (C), Isobel Wessels (M) and Kirsten Soegaard (B) were nigh on unanimous in their marking, with just over one percent the difference between the five individual marks and all panel scores over the 70% barrier.
Allegra Schmitz-Morkramer, yesterday's team test winner with the ten year old Hanoverian stallion Libertad (Londontime x San Remo), topped the day one scoreboard recording an impressive 77.030% and setting herself as the one to beat with the field bound to be in hot pursuit.
A busy day for Great Britain in the first half of the Young Rider Individual competition saw three of the accomplished quartet stepping forward for their second tests at the championships. First up to the plate would be Gloucestershire local Caitlin Burgess with her own Chocotof, the combination impressed on the final day of the team event recording a personal best and today's trip around the individual test was equally as impressive. Harmony, balance and lightness are signature to this combination, and Caitlin presented yet another accurate test with the high marks delivered for canter half pass, secure opening centre line and brave, ground-covering tempi changes - the three tempi line scored three 8s and one 8.5. Their confirmed score of 72.831% rewarded a provisional third place on the overnight leaderboard.
The great riding and results kept coming throughout the afternoon session at Hartpury, with Anna Dalrymple and Vagabond de Massa continuing their good form and building on a brilliant start to their debut European Championships in the team test. Today, Anna and Maxine Vainio’s gifted Lusitano earned 71.654% and fifth from the Young Rider panel - with Evi Eisenhardt at E (GER), Stephen Clarke at H (GBR), Maarten Van Der Heijden at C (NED) and Alice Schwab (AUT) at B. The test showcased power and precision with the duo's flying changes rewarded as well as expressive trot half passes.
A busy afternoon of dressage with three British riders in action over one hour also saw Maddy Frewin take to the stage with Hannah Dovey's 13 year old gelding Eagle Nouvelle. Previously campaigned by Katie Bailey, the bay gelding looked a picture in today's test presented with skill by 19 year old Maddy, making her third championship appearance. Today, a minor mistake in the rein back would hold back the scores which were otherwise superb with abundant 7.5 and 8s across the rest of the test sheet - a sign of what's to come for this well-matched duo in just their first season together. The individual total for Maddy was a commendable 68.603%.
Germany's winning young rider team were out in force to continue their impressive form, but it was Helena Schmitz-Morkramer and DSP Lifestyle (Lord Fantastic x Samba Hit) to deliver the highest scoring Young Rider Individual test of the day - matching her sister Allegra's overnight lead with 76.949% the score for the pack to chase.
Junior Individual - part one
Competition sponsored by Andrews Bowen
1. Allegra Schmitz-Morkramer with Libertad, 77.030% (GER)
2. Sophia Boje Obel Jørgensen with Brilliant, 74.618% (DEN)
3. Mathilde Juglaret with Caporal de Massa, 74.324% (FRA)
5. Myles Graham with Nibeley Union Hit, 71.118% (GBR)
Young Rider Individual - part one
Competition sponsored by Hartpury University
1. Helena Schmitz-Morkramer with DSP Lifestyle, 76.949% (GER)
2. Lucie-Anouk Baumgürtel with Zinq Hugo FH, 75.3685 (GER)
3. Caitlin Burgess with Chocotof, 72.831% (GBR)
5. Anna Dalrymple with Vagabond de Massa, 71.654% (GBR)
13. Maddy Frewin with Eagle Nouvelle, 68.603% (GBR)