Team NAF put up strong challenge at Pony Europeans
- Written By:
Great Britain’s Team NAF Pony riders put up an admirable challenge to finish in fourth place at the FEI Pony European Championships in Strzegom, Poland (13 – 18 August 2019).
The team podium was tight, with the top three all within two percent of each other, but it was an exciting squad from Denmark who made history by winning the nation’s first ever team gold. The Danish four broke the German stronghold, which was last interrupted when Britain won team championship honours in 2015. The Dutch quartet all posted scores around the mid-70s to finish on the heels of the Danes, and Germany claimed Bronze.
Britain’s team campaign was robust. On Wednesday, team pathfinder Bonnie Bourne and her lovely gelding Fin C We (Famos x Eiger III) (above) scored a super 69.40%, followed by 71.31% from Izzy Lickley and the charming white-faced Mister Snowman to put Great Britain into overnight Bronze.
Thursday morning, Holly Kerslake and the stunning Danish bred Welsh section D stallion Valhalla’s Zorro delivered 70.02% to strengthen the campaign before Annabella Pidgley rode an exciting test with Cognac IX (FS Chambertin x Waldemar) (below) to earn the top British score of 71.54%, confirming a great team effort of fourth place.
Denmark’s Alexander Yde Helgstrand (16), son of Andreas and Marianne Helgstrand, was impressive, winning the Individual Gold aboard Adriano B (De Angelo B x Flying Dream) on a score of 78.21%. Alexander’s compatriot Liva Addy Guldager Nielson and D’Artagnan 187 (FS Don’t Worry x Colano) took Silver with Germany’s Shona Benner and Der Kleine Sunnyboy We (Der Feine Lord x Valentino) in Bronze.
Annabella Pidgley rode with maturity to earn the highest accolades for Team NAF in the challenging Individual Test to finish best of the Brits in 14th with Cognac IX. Izzy Lickley presented an accomplished test with Mister Snowman (The Braes My Mobility x Llanarth Most Triton) for 71.40% and 15th, Bonnie Bourne and Fin C We a whisker behind on 69.89% (18th), followed by Holly Kerslake and Valhalla’s Zorro (Lord Matrafal x Fjordglimts Sir Johnson) on 69.64% for 20th place.
Helgstrand takes the hat-trick
There was much to look forward to in the British camp with three Team NAF riders qualifying for the Freestyle to Music final on Sunday. Helgstand and Adriano were once again supreme, earning 82.014% to add to his haul of Golds, and the podium remained the same as the Individual with a Helgstrand, Nielsen, Benner one-two-three. The scores were impressive but, still, the record for all three tests remain in the British hands of Phoebe Peters.
Izzy Lickley rode the test of her life to finish best of the Brits in the Freestyle, taking 10th place with 73.15%, whilst Annabella was 11th with 72.98% and Bonnie 17th on a score of 70.09%.
“Well what can I say,” said Izzy on Izzy Lickley Dressage after her return home to Kingswood Equestrian in Staffordshire. “Now we are finally home and Snowy is enjoying downtime in the field - it has been the most amazing two weeks. Snowman exceeded my expectations of him for this season and to finish with a top 10 placing at the Europeans is something of a dream. He hasn’t dropped below 70% this entire qualification season right up to the final class and he has so much more to give next year.”
Congratulations to all four of our riders for their results. Thanks go to NAF and LeMieux for their support of our Under 21s international teams, as well as Chef d’Equipe Caroline Bell and all those behind the scenes at the Championships who contributed to the riders’ success.
Results of the British riders
1st Alexander Yde Helgstrand with Adriano B, 77.543% (DEN)
14th Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 71.543% (GBR)
15th Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 71.314% (GBR)
19th Holly Kerslake with Valhalla’s Zorro, 70.029% (GBR)
25th Bonneville Bourne with Fin C We, 69.400% (GBR)
1. Denmark – 226.829
Alexander Yde Helgstrand with Adriano B, 77.543%
Liva Addy Guldager Nielson with D’Artagnan 187, 76.029%
Nathalie Thomassen with Lykkehoejs Dream of Dornik, 73.257%
Thilde Rude Hare with Morgensterns Dakar, 72.857%
2. Netherlands – 225.771
Micky Schelstraete with Elin’s Nonciscador, 75.629%
Floor Van Der Kuijl with Champ of Daily, 75.171%
Robin Heiden with Colourfull Cannonball, 74.971%
Evi Van Rooij with King Stayerhof’s Jango, 74.257%
3. Germany – 224.915
Shona Benner with Der Kleine Sunnyboy We, 75.800%
Lana-Pinou Baumgürtel with Zinq Massimiliano FH, 74.829%
Antonia Busch-Kuffner with Daily Pleasure We, 74.286%
Rose Oatley with Daddy Moon, 67.071%
4. Great Britain – 212.886
Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 71.543%
Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 71.314%
Holly Kerslake with Valhalla’s Zorro, 70.029%
Bonneville Bourne with Fin C We, 69.400%
5. Sweden – 209.915
6. Switzerland – 206.944
7. Austria – 206.171
8. Spain – 206.000
9. Belgium – 204.599
10. Poland – 202.343
11. France 200.143
12. Russian Federation – 199.771
13. Czech Republic – 198.185
14. Hungary – 196.085
1st Alexander Yde Helgstrand with Adriano B, 78.216% (DEN)
14th Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 71.432% (GBR)
15th Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 71.405% (GBR)
18th Bonneville Bourne with Fin C We, 68.892% (GBR)
20th Holly Kerslake with Valhalla’s Zorro, 69.649% (GBR) (below)
1st Alexander Yde Helgstrand with Adriano B, 82.140% (DEN)
10th Isobel Lickley with Mister Snowman, 73.155% (GBR)
11th Annabella Pidgley with Cognac IX, 72.985% (GBR)
17th Bonneville Bourne with Fin C We (70.095% (GBR)
Photos © Adam Fanthorpe