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2008 European Pony Champs: Brits sixth after hard-fought battle

last updated on July 29, 2008 12:41

2008 European Pony Champs: Brits sixth after hard-fought battle
Britain’s pony riders finished sixth after a hard-fought battle at the 2008 European Pony Championships in Avenches, Switzerland, 23-27 July.
In the past, the British pony team has returned with team bronze on numerous occasions. This year, Germany once again took the top slot with The Netherlands second. Denmark snatched bronze from Belgium by just 0.6% while the traditionally strong dressage nation of Sweden took fifth.
Selector Jenny Ward said: “We had noticed the Belgians improving over the last few international shows, but they were much better than they’ve ever been before.”
Natasha Leak (pictured), Britain’s youngest team member with one more year in ponies, was best Brit riding the 13-year-old palomino stallion De Vito to score 66.632%. Last year’s team bronze medallist Olivia Kuropatwa and the 13-year-old chestnut gelding Kastanienhof’s Vitus were close behind with 66.369%. Team debutantes Roberta Hayler and the 10-year-old grey stallion Nanos scored 65.737% and Amy Woodhead and the 12-year-old bay gelding Languard 4 finished on 65.421%. The last three riders are all in the final year as pony riders.
Jenny said: “All the riders coped extremely well with the pressure and showed maturity. The judges commented how much they liked the way Olivia rode and Amy has improved her pony out of all recognition.”
Visit the show’s website for the full results
Picture courtesy of LewisHarding Ltd