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Read horse rider wins bronze for Great Britain in Belgium endurance contest

Photo Ben Parsons
Clitheroeadvertiser.co.uk - Full Article

Published on Wednesday 19 September 2012

Teenage equestrian Kate Atkinson is riding high after winning a bronze medal with the Great Britain team in a top European endurance event.

Kate (15) from Read, was the youngest in a four-strong team in the FEI European Young Rider Endurance Championships at Mont le Soie, in Belgium, where 19 national teams were competing on a super-tough 120-km Ardennes mountain route. It was Britain’s first junior medal win in the competition in 15 years.

Kate’s determined performance, riding her 13-year-old bay Arab gelding Vanash to 23rd place overall helped the GB team to clinch bronze as one of the only three teams to have the required minimum three riders complete the course.

Team mates Carri-Ann Dark and Beth Langley, both in their last year of junior competition, came in 14th and 18th. France won gold and Italy silver...

Read more here:

Great Britain: Young rider from Lyme Regis scoops top European gong
Bridportnews.co.uk - Full Article

By Rene Gerryts
19th September 2012 in Local News

A 19-YEAR-OLD A-level student from Lyme Regis has been named the best British horse rider in the European Young Rider Endurance Championships.

Dace Sainsbury passed all her exams at Woodroffe School and was the first British rider across the finish line of the 120k race, which was held in Belgium.

The British team came home with a bronze medal.

The young rider, who already has her sites set on the world championships next year, said it has been an amazing experience.

She came 12th out of a field of 63 riders on her 12-year-old Arab mare Lottie.

Dace squeezed in her training at 5.30am before school to make sure her horse was fit enough to compete at her first championships.

She said: “It was a very tight schedule and I have another youngster at home whom I am just starting through the levels and he was having to be exercised and it was a struggle...

Read more here:

Great Britain: Dace tells the story of her FEI European Junior Endurance Championships
Midweekherald.co.uk - Full Article

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

junior European Event rider Dace Sainsbury writes: After final preparations were made ready for our trip to Belgium I could not help but check and re check that I had packed everything that I could possibly need for a week away.

Finally I felt prepared, so on Tuesday morning Samantha, James, my Mum and I set off for Dover. Apart from a slight detour that almost resulted in us being packed off into the eurotunnel, we safely reached the lairage in time for our 4pm ‘final’ vet check to ensure the horses were fit and ready for the lengthy travel to Belgium and of course the competition.

So, after all the inevitable delays in logistics we finally boarded the ferry on Wednesday morning. As it was the first time I had ever travelled Ballota on a ferry I was very nervous about the whole procedure but the team and the management assured me that there wasd nothing to worry about and she would still be in one piece on the other side. We were very lucky to have had a very smooth ferry crossing and the offloading procedure was relatively painless, within no time at all we were negotiating our way around Calais and were full steam ahead to the venue at Mont Le Soie. It has to be said that despite mydoubts about James’ capability in driving abroad he did not make a mistake the whole trip.

We arrived at Mont Le Soie at around 8pm. One more vet check for the horses, food for human and horses and then bed. The hotel was astounding and the hospitality was beyond expectations for a group of over 40 British riders, crews and management and were happoy to accomodate our late dinners and early breakfasts.

The next few days were crammed full of pre-ride exercise, vet checks, team tactics, vet checks, setting up vet gates, vet checks and generally getting to know each other and each others horses better. We had a fantastic time and the weather was beautiful, but by Friday evening, the eve of the competition, I can only speak for myself when I say my nerves were at breaking point and it took a lot of diversion tactics from my support crew to keep me smiling!

Four AM Saturday morning, the hotel was alive with riders and crews readying themselves for the day ahead...

Read more here:

British Endurance Young Riders Take Bronze


The British team had a successful trip to the FEI European Young Rider Endurance Championships 2012, which took place at Mont le Soie in Belgium on the 8th September. The team, consisting of Kate Atkinson, Carri-Ann Dark, Beth Langley and Louise Rich won team bronze around the ultra-competitive and demanding 120km course.

The French team took the team Gold and Italy came home with Silver. Two individual riders made up the six strong British squad, Dace Sainsbury and Andrew Theodorou. Dace was the highest British rider in 12th position with her horse Ballota.

Three of the four British team riders completed the hilly course on the edge of the Ardennes forest. Carri-Ann Dark from Wiltshire finished in 14th place with her own Vavavoom, Beth Langley from Wales and HS Ametista came in in 18th and Kate Atkinson from Lancashire riding Vanash finished in 23rd place. Sadly Louise Rich’s horse Oakleaze Farm Cziko vetted out on metabolics at vet gate 3.

Chef d’equipe Helen Boston said “the riders went really well from start to finish. This year we have really planned ahead for the championships. We brought three of the riders, Carri-Ann, Louise and Kate out to Mont le Soie in April for a trial run. What they learned from April and passed on to the other team members has really ensured the whole squad was fully prepared, which shows in their results”.

Team member Carri-Ann Dark said “the course was challenging and technical, but great fun. It went according to plan and we had a very exciting finish with a race to the line”.

The course at Mont le Soie is hilly and stony and presents a real challenge to the riders. Only three teams completed with three riders owing to these tough conditions.

Helen went on to say “Carri-Ann, Beth and Louise are in their last year of young riders, but we have some brilliant riders moving up the ranks for next year”. In 2013 the Young Rider World Championships will be held in Tardes, in the South of France in July.

For more information on the sport of endurance in Britain, visit www.endurancegb.co.uk.

FEI Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championship 2012
Italy’s Mara Feola and Grigali put in a storming finish on the last loop to take individual gold at the FEI European Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championships 2012 at Mont le Soie, Belgium on Saturday. © FEI/Leonard Liesens FEI.org

10 Sep 2012

Team Gold for France in Tight Battle with Italians who claim Individual Glory, by Anna Williams

France claimed team gold and Italy’s Mara Feola took the Individual title at the FEI European Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championships 2012 at Mont-le-Soie in Belgium at the weekend. This stunning venue is nestled in the region of the High Ardennes with its dramatic landscape of dense forests, rivers and valleys. Mont-le-Soie is a well known venue on the Endurance circuit, regularly hosting CEI events up to 160km, but this was its first-ever FEI Championship fixture.

A total of 61 horses and athletes were entered for the event, but following the pre-ride inspection three horses were judged not fit to start – Norway’s Shere Khan (Kine Eissland Holen), Finland’s only entrant Solomonas (Joona Mickelsson) and Belgium’s Cairo to be ridden by home rider Raphael Van Cauter who had just returned from the World Endurance Championships in Euston Park (GBR) where he partnered Taborah de Sier to a successful 22nd place.

Nine Teams

Saturday morning saw a total 58 combinations start, including nine teams ready to battle it out over the tough, hilly course for European glory. Whilst the terrain was extremely challenging the weather was kind to the competitors, dry but not too hot, which enabled the horses to give some great performances and many producing “personal bests” over this distance.

It was competitors from Eastern Europe who were dominant in the early stages, with Hungary and the Czech Republic taking the top positions at the first Vet Gate. This, however, was not to last, and by the conclusion of the event only two riders from each of these countries would complete.

As the day progressed team France showed, once again, their prowess in this tough sport. With their Senior compatriots having taken team Silver at the World Championships some two weeks previously, the French Junior/Young Rider squad looked set to sweep both Individual and Team gold this time out when all four team members remained consistently at the top of the field throughout the day.

Slow and Steady Progress

However, no one counted on the slow and steady progress of the young Italian side who, on paper, rode the perfect race. Despite coming in to Vet Gate 1 towards the back of the field, their consistency and tactical riding meant that by Vet Gate 3 they were just 4 minutes 21 seconds behind the leaders from France. With just 20 kilometres to go, the race was most certainly on for the 2012 team title.

As expected, the last loop of 20 kilometres was to prove very influential. It was demanding, with a final 7-kilometre climb to the finish, and only the very best were able to put in a competitive fight over the closing stages. With the top six all covering the 20 kilometres at over 24 kilometres per hour, the wait on the finish line was a tense one, and these young athletes certainly didn’t disappoint. An exhilarating race to the line saw the top-eight complete the course within 12 seconds of each other.

Mara Feola (ITA) and her talented 10 year old chestnut gelding were through the finish first, and it seemed her mount was just as pleased as she was with their victory. They put in a storming performance on the last loop, climbing up some six places to snatch the lead from French athlete Cesar Donnais and the 10 year old Arab mare Srour.

Fast Calculations

Some fast calculations were made as the competition concluded with both Italy and France finishing with three team members in the top ten. With the tension buzzing across the venue it was confirmed that France had managed to hold on to the lead by a mere 74 seconds ahead of Italy who had to settle for silver medal spot.

Spain looked good for team bronze, but it was wrenched from their grasp when Nuria Serrabassa Fabre’s ride Casba, their final team horse, was deemed lame despite crossing the finish line in eighth position. With only two team members having completed, Spain therefore dropped out of contention allowing the British to step up for bronze - their first team medal since 1997.

Hard-Fought Competition

Director of Non-Olympic Sports, Ian Williams, expressed his delight at the successful Championship, “This was a hard fought competition” he explained, “but these athletes can be very proud of their performances. They rode with maturity beyond their years, and all of the horses looked very good coming across the line”.

Special remarks were also made about the turn-out of these young teams. It was clear that a great effort had been made and both horses and riders looked immaculate, a real credit to the ever-growing sport of Endurance.

FEI European Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championships 2012 - Teams: GOLD - France 19:06:39 - Srour (Cesar Donnais), Preume de Paute (Nina Lissarrague), Kassit (Marion Brignoli), Karamel Mouthes (Clemence Le Bihan); SILVER - Italy 19:07:53 - Grigali (Mara Feola), Sassifraga della bosana (Luca Zappettini), Isteddada Saura (Matteo Bravi), Pika de Cardonne (Daniele Serioli); BRONZE - Great Britain 20:53:43 - Vavavoom (Carri-Ann Dark), HS Ametista (Beth Langley), Vanash (Kate Atkinson), Oakleazefarm Cziko (Louise Rich).

FEI European Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championships 2012 - Individuals: GOLD - Grigali (Mara Feola) ITA 18.907 kph; SILVER - Srour (Cesar Donnais) FRA 18.906 kph; BRONZE - Preume de Paute (Nina Lissarrague) FRA 18.904 kph.

Great Britain: Carri-Ann's Euro aim
Thisiswiltshire.co.uk - Full Article

12:30pm Friday 7th September 2012 in Sport

Carri-Ann Dark is hoping to bow out in style as she competes for Endurance GB at the European Young Riders Championships in Belgium this weekend.

The 21-year-old, who is in her last year as a Young Rider (16-21 age group), is part of the six-strong Endurance GB squad that will compete in Mont le Soie on Saturday, in an 120km event that Dark describes as ‘like a Formula One race’.

Dark, of Little Cheverell, who competed in the 2008 championships in Spain and the 2009 World Young Riders Championships in Hungary, will ride Vavavoom (also known as Prince). The horse is owned by her mother, Ann, and Dark is confident of putting in a good performance...

Read more here:

Britain: Team Announced for YR European Championships

30 August 2012

After the excitement of the WEC at the weekend, it is now the turn of the Young Rider's who are travelling to Belgium next week for the YR European Championships. The team will be made up of:

Kate Atkinson - Vanash
Carri Ann Dark - Vavavoom
Beth Langley - HS Ametista
Louise Rich - Oakleaze Farm Cziko
Dace Sainsbury - Ballotta
Andrew Theodorou - Jamal

We sail from Dover on Wednesday morning and travel to Mont le Soie for the competition which takes place on Saturday 8th September.

The Management Team and riders would like to say a huge thank you to the following organisations for their support of the team:

Just Chaps
Simple Systems
Performance Equestrian
Gatehouse riding hats
Naf products
Ingateston Saddlery, Essex Toggi

As usual the team can be followed on Twitter and I'm sure you will join in wishing them all the very best of luck!
Helen Boston