British White-Wash at Pardubice
British riders proved invincible when taking their sixth consecutive team gold as well as the individual title at the 2010 FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders which was staged at the world-famous Pardubice Racecourse in the Czech Republic from 30 July to 1 August.
Alert:The 2010 European Vaulting Championships begin at Stadl Paura, Austria on Thursday, August 6. The event will be broadcast live in Web TV under the link www.cvi-austria.org
It was a close-fought affair in each case however, the winning team heading a powerful challenge from Germany by just 0.10 penalties while Emily Parker had just an 0.8 point advantage over Sweden's Hannes Melin to take the individual honours. The Swedish team came third while Germany's Sonja Buck claimed individual bronze.
Took the Lead
Parker took the lead on cross-country day after dressage leaders - Nicolas Astler and Jhakti du Jonlie from France who scored 42.8 in the first phase - were eliminated for a fall. But the marks at the top end of the scoreboard were extremely tight, and the British girl had little breathing space going into the final jumping phase. Competing in reverse order of merit, Buck was third-last into the ring with Ohio and, despite lowering one fence, hung on to bronze medal position, but Hannes Melin's great clear with Gaston KLG really piled the pressure on the 20 year old Parker. The British girl held her nerve however and returned without touching a pole with her horse Treefers which she describes as "tricky but good and honest, and always wanting to do his best".
It was an emotional moment, and Parker wept with a mixture of relief and joy afterwards because nothing less than a clear round would ensure that her country would take that coveted team gold once again. "I knew I had to go clear" she said, "but Treefers just jumped out of his skin".
It was a real team effort, with great results from all four British riders. Emily Llewellyn (Society Spice) completed with a score of 51.3 having added just four faults in the final jumping test to the 1.20 time penalties picked up on the cross-country course while Laura Collet (Fernhill Cristal) added exactly the same number of penalities in the second two phases to complete on a final tally of 55.40. The fourth British team member was Tom McEwen (Major Sweep) who kicked off with a dressage score of 51.10 and added nothing on cross-country day but 12 in the jumping ring for a total of 63.10.
The final British score was 149.80 and the highly competitive German side of Sonja Buck (Ohio), Freya Fullgraebe (Oje Oje), Franziska Roth (Dictus J) and Sabine Deparade (Khira De) were tantalisingly close behind when finishing on 149.90 while Swedens Hannes Melin (Gaston KLG), Frida Andersen (Herta), Christoffer Forsberg (Grafman) and Amanda Staam (Highlander KLT) were more than 30 marks further in arrears in bronze medal position on a scoreline of 184.30.
A total of 11 teams took part, and there were 64 starters but only 40 finishers with 21 eliminations and three retirements during the exciting weekend of competition. Great Britain has an exceptional record in these Championships which began in 1981, with 57 medals to their credit over the last 29 years.
Photo Caption: The victorious British team after winning gold at the 2010 FEI European Eventing Championships for Young Riders at Pardubice last weekend.