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British riders clean up at Para equestrian champs

August 25, 2009

Angelika Trabert and Londria, who won gold in their individual test.

British riders had another great day at the FEI European and Open Para Equestrian Championships, taking home three gold medals, while Germany took the last two.

The event, at the Epona Riding Centre in Kristiansand, Norway, wrapped up on Sunday, and featured Freestyle to music. Some of the classes where ridden inside the indoor arena but all the other riders and spectators was blessed with nice weather.

Making sure the right Brits, are in the right place, with the right horse at any time is performance manager for the British team, David Hunter. He explains the reasons for some of their success: "If you're going to be successful as a team you've got to be knit together. We are lucky in England to have a system. Through the national lottery we have a funding towards the paralypic sports," he said.

"Two new riders, Sophie Wells and Emma Sheardown, have come through a system of younger riders and being trained up. It's really rewarding to see them go to the podium. Emma Sheardown has been working with this for six years and it's her first major international show. We've had an extremely successful and great European Championship. We have never won as many medals at a major international championship before."

Sophie Wells cashed in three gold medals at the event, in addition to the IF youth Challenge and also the prize for having the highest total score after three days.

Lee Pearson also took home three gold medals. "I've had an extremely successful competition, not so pleased with my horse the first day when I thought the judges were very kind.

"In the Championship tests yesterday they judged him a little bit low. Today the rider was good and the horse was good and the judges were good! Everything was right today; we just needed three days to get everything right," Pearson said.

Angelika Trabert took her first gold medal in an individual test. "It's been my best championship ever so I'm very happy," she said.

Germany's Hannelore Brenner and Women of the World got the highest total score, with 76,889%. "I am really satisfied. It was my dream. It is a wonderful feeling to ride my horse when she fights with me. She doesn't always like the indoor arena but the music wasn't too loud," Brenner said.

"I have things that are not perfect and needs improving but its not important for this grade. It's been a wonderful show. Well organised and very friendly. We are at home here."



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