SW team celebrates at BD Youth Home International

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 10 Aug 2018 22:34

Local team the South West Donald Ducks won the team championship at the BD Youth Home International, kindly supported by Protexin and held at Moreton Equestrian Centre near Dorchester in Dorset (3 – 5 August 2018). 

The three-day tournament was enjoyed by all. Fun was had, friends were made, but above all it was brimming with good quality riding and combinations showing much promise for the future.

The annual event gives young riders an invaluable taste of the big time and all that comes with riding for a team. This year was no exception. A total of 25 teams came forward from across each of the eight BD regions in England, Scotland and Wales, plus teams invited from across the water in Ireland. There were also individual titles from Novice to Medium and FEI tests for the taking.

Over the scorching weekend, the winning South West Donald Ducks team (pictured with South West's BD Youth Rep, Jo Lees) showed their mettle with some super scores achieved. They earned a total team score of 18.00 for a clear lead. Podium silver was taken by a team from the Northern region – Northern Skittles on a score of 33.00 with bronze going to North West’s NW Chatters (34.00).

The winning four was spearheaded by 16-year-old Florence Human from Mark in Somerset and her dark bay seven-year-old Fulgencio (Fürstenball x Don Bedo I) competing at Elementary. On Saturday, the pair delivered the test of their career so far for a personal best of 74.38% followed by 71.57% on Sunday. The resulting score average of 72.97% not only made them the lynchpin of team but also earned them the overall individual Elementary title.

Youngest team member, Caitlin Clancy (15), impressed with her eight-year-old Welsh pony, Browbank Jacob Black. Caitlin, who lives in Somerset, headed Saturday’s Novice with 70.77% and following Sunday’s competition settled into second overall in the individual Novice with a score average of 69.82%.

April Joynson (18) from Charfield in Gloucestershire played a pivotal role in the winning South West team with her mother Karen’s British-bred skewbald pony Bryntegllwynau Rocky Robin. She summed up her experience on April Joynson Dressage.

“We are Home International team champions!” she said. “We’ve had the most amazing weekend at the British Dressage home international, coming home with team first, by 15 points, and ninth individually in the very big Elementary class of 35 top competitors.

“The South West riders were all on form, and showed great team spirit throughout the weekend, cheering everyone on through the highs and lows of the competition. A huge thank you to everyone who made it possible for Robin and me to compete. And to all of my great sponsors, as well as the sponsors of the event.”

Team mate Danielle Balsdon (19) who hails from Exeter also achieved good results, with her eight-year-old son of L’Espoir, Lord Lennox. “I’m over the moon with how Lennox performed today. He was just lacking in energy come the end of his test, but with scores ranging from 9s to a 5.5 at a big championship, I cannot complain! We managed to come back fighting after yesterday to come sixth overall in the Medium championship but our SW England team won the gold! Thank you to everyone for the support and for such a great weekend being one I will never forget!”

Southern region’s Joanna Kelly, who’d travelled from Dorking in Surrey with her nine-year-old German gelding Verdener Jung, was delighted with her Home International experience. Riding as part of the eighth-placed Southern Saffron team, the 22-year-old also took the overall individual Novice title with a score average of 70.26%. Joanna and ‘Tino’ competed at the 2017 LeMieux National Championships in the Backinaction Preliminary so are no strangers to the big time.

“OMG! Tino and I are Home International Champions!” she exclaimed. “To be selected to compete was incredible but to actually go and win it was just amazing! Thank you everyone who has helped us, I couldn’t have done it without you all!”

The individual Medium title belonged to Rachel Lade (23) from Stroud in Gloucestershire with her beautiful grey Royal Diamond son, Royal Diamont. Rachel and the German-bred nine-year-old who’s known as ‘Shimmer’ posted a score average of 69.97%.

Team results
1st - South West Donald Ducks – 18 points
April Joynson with Bryntegllwynau Rocky Robin (Elem)
Danielle Balsdon with Lord Lennox (Med)
Florence Human with Fulgencio (Elem)
Caitlin Clancy with Browbank Jacob Black (Nov)

2nd - Northern Skittles – 33 points
Anna Bates with Jolianna (Med)
Mollie Whitham with DZL Royal Sunrise (Elem)
Olivia Walker with QEG Lux (Nov)

3rd - North West Chatters – 34 points
Chloe Naylor with Karisma (Med)
Chloe Taylor with Treliver Divine (Elem)
Danielle Marshall| with Galant IV (Nov)
Holly Clarke with Gingerbread IV (Nov)

Overall individual winners:
Novice - Joanna Kelly with Verdener Jung (Southern), 70.26%
Elementary – Florence Human with Fulgencio (South West), 72.97%
Medium – Rachel Lade with Royal Diamont (South West), 69.97%

FEI Test winners:
Pony Individual - Lavinia Johnson with Dublin, 68.78%
Junior Individual - Esmee Alex with Sarana CDS, 67.44%
Young Rider - Thalia Turner with Don Diamont, 60.55%
Children on Horses - Phoebe Turnbull with Nairobi Star, 66.36%%

BD Youth is open to every young person under the age of 25 who would like to be involved in regional training, competitions and camps. It is also a great way to meet new friends and learn more about the sport. To find out more visit