It was a successful start to the season for the British Pony squad, competing under the title sponsor banner of Team LeMieux, at Sentower Park in Opglabbeek in Belgium on the afternoon of 8th April 2019.
Eight teams came forward to contest the twelve obstacles of the Nations Cup course. The open water was testing for some, but not as much as the final straight which took in a treble followed by a related distance to the final fence, an oxer going away from home.
Great Britain held an early lead in the first round with just 4 penalties being carried forward. Their closest rivals came in the shape of France, The Netherlands and Norway who all sat two fences behind on 12 penalties apiece. With all to play for in the second round, France came out strong to post three clears to finish on their initial first round score and edge just ahead of Great Britain to claim the title and nudge the Brits into 2nd place. Whilst the Netherlands and Norway fell further down the line-up it was Ireland that stepped up to 3rd place having finished on their first round penalty score of 18 having posted three clears in round two.
British Nations Cup Team Performances
The team was led by 14-year-old Claudia Moore from Brentwood, Essex with the 12-year-old bay mare Delflip owned by her mother Katrina. Claudia, taking on the role of pathfinder for the team, put in a solid first round performance with just one fence being touched to see them pick up 4 penalties as they came through the finish line. Their second round however saw them come back and attack the course in foot-perfect fashion to break the finish line with no penalties to add.
Megan Li, aged 14 from Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire also looked strong despite picking up 4 penalties on the course along with a single time penalty. Their second round saw them finish on 12 penalties and go on to become the drop score for the team.
Holly Truelove, aged 15, from Brigg, Lincolnshire with Rexter d’Or, a 14-year-old grey stallion owned by Barrie Truelove posted the first clear for the team when she returned home leaving all fences untouched and well within the time allowed. Their second round saw them finish with 5 penalties due to faulting at an obstacle just outside the time allowed.
Shaunie Greig, aged 16, from Aberdeenshire with Casino Royale, a 16-year-old bay gelding owned by Anne Greig also delivered a superb first round clear in their role of anchor. The second round saw them finish within the time however a touch at a fence saw 4 penalties being incurred.
The Chef d’Equipe accompanying the squad was Clare Whitaker who also holds the position of Youth Team Manager for British Showjumping. Talking after the event Clare commented “They all rode really well under pressure and I’m incredibly pleased with them all. It has been a good show for us, and we are looking forward to the season ahead.”