At the FEI European Pony Championship 2012 in Fontainebleau, the British riders continued their domination of the jumping championship with another convincing team win for a line-up that included two of last year’s gold medal winning side.
Amy Inglis and Jessica Mendoza are seasoned veterans, and 15 year old Inglis jumped double-clear in the Nations Cup at Fontainebleau in April with her 11 year old Quick Star gelding, Nils d’Hurl Vent, while 16 year old Mendoza, who also took individual bronze last summer, was second in the Grand Prix at Moorsele (BEL) with the 14 year old Tixylix who has enjoyed something of a stellar career. Millie Allen won the first British trial with the 9 year old bay mare Song Girl. The French venue was a familiar one for this partnership who won the Grand Prix there in the spring and who were second in the Grand Prix, and on the winning Nations Cup team, at Hagen (GER) last month. The British squad was rounded up by 15 year old Alex Chitty and the 10 year old mare Amilie JR Z.
They arrived in Fontainebleau with all the necessary preparation, and were the only country to complete the first round of the Nations Cup on a zero score. Sweden and Germany lay second at the halfway stage carrying four faults each, while Denmark was next in line with eight followed by The Netherlands with 10. There were only two double-clear performances in the entire competition - and 14 year old Allen and Song Girl produced one of them which ensured the eight-fault second-round result for Chitty could be dropped, leaving them on a final tally of eight when Inglis and Mendoza both had one fence down second time out.
Germany and Sweden both suffered eliminations in round two, but while that put paid to Sweden’s chance, the Germans found themselves in a three--way third-round jump-off for bronze, helped greatly by the double-clear achieved by pathfinders Marie Schulze Topphof and Mentos Junior. The eight from Justine Tebbel (Patty), and four from Lars Volmer (Carrick) brought their tally to 16 after two rounds, and this left them on level-pegging with the Swiss who added nothing to the faults they collected first time out while Denmark joined them in the race against the clock having racked up an even eight faults in each of the first two rounds. But Danish hopes were dashed when their first two riders were eliminated in the jump-off, so when the Germans kept a clean sheet they stole silver ahead of the Swiss who picked up four more faults for bronze.
A total of 11 countries lined out in the jumping Nations Cup and they finished in the following order - Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Ireland, Finland and Italy.
It was Switzerland’s Emilie Paillot and Top Jezabel de L’Etape who won the Individual Final competition ahead of Britain’s Chitty in second and The Netherland’s Lisa Nooren and Rock Dee Jay in third. But the four faults collected by fourth-placed Allen were the first she had picked up throughout the tournament, and the leaderboard showed her as clear winner of the 2012 Individual title, ahead of Nooren in silver carrying 7 faults. There was a jump-off between Paillot and Chitty for the bronze. And despite her faster time, Paillot lost out on the medal podium with a fence down.
Team Jumping Championship:
GOLD - Great Britain 8 faults: Nils d’Hurl Vent (Amy Inglis) 04, Song Girl (Millie Allen) 0/0, Amilie Jr Z (Alex Chitty) 0/8, Tixylix (Jessica Mendoza) 0/4;
SILVER - Germany 16 faults and 0 in third-round jump-off: Mentos Junior (Marie Schulze Topphof) 0/0, Tiara (Julia Schacht) 8/Elim, Patty 23 (Justine Tebbel) 4/8, Carrick (Lars Volmer) 0/4;
BRONZE - Switzerland 16 faults and 4 faults in third-round jump-off: Clogherboy Mirah (Thomas Nussbaumer) 8/0, Ocean des As (Vladya Reverdin) 16/0, Top Jezabel de L’Eta (Emilie Paillot) 4/0, Arts Deilo (Fabienne Egenberger) 4/12.
Individual Jumping Championship:
GOLD - Song Girl (Millie Allen) GBR 4 faults;
SILVER - Rock Dee Jay (Lisa Nooren) NED 7 faults;
BRONZE - Amilie Jur Z (Alex Chitty) GBR 8 faults and 0/36.12 in jump-off.
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