Cullompton event rider Bleekman, 16, earns GB silver

PUBLISHED: 12:51 12 August 2009 | UPDATED: 23:57 15 June 2010

Sophie Martin, Ella MCEwen, Lottie Kennedy and Katie Bleekman.

Sophie Martin, Ella MCEwen, Lottie Kennedy and Katie Bleekman.

After four days of closely fought competition, the Derby House British Pony team, which included Katie Bleekman from Cullompton, clinched the Team Silver medal at the European Pony Championships.

After four days of closely fought competition, the Derby House British Pony team, which included Katie Bleekman from Cullompton, clinched the Team Silver medal at the European Pony Championships in Moorsele, Belgium.

After a challenging cross-country day, the team was lying in Bronze medal position, but pulled out all the stops in the show-jumping with Lottie Kennedy and Katie Bleekman producing fantastic clear rounds to win silver.

Britain also had three riders inside the top ten in the individual competition with Lottie on Darraks Tonto finishing in fifth, Katie on Cregaan Scenic finishing in sixth and Jessica Watts on Lord of the Ring finishing in seventh.

Ginnie Keen, chairman of the pony team selectors, was delighted with all the riders: "All six children have been amazing throughout these championships; they really gelled together and supported each other.

"The team has done a superb job. We thought we would come home with the bronze, so getting the silver is fantastic. All of the riders did their very best and really deserve this medal."

Jonquil Hemming, Trainer for the Pony Squad, was particularly pleased with the performance in the dressage phase: "We were all thrilled with every single one of the dressage tests, all the team and their ponies produced a solid, good test.

"They are a really good bunch of kids and they all fought for each other and were very encouraging."

The trip to Belgium was possible thanks to the unerring support of the UK Sport funded Equestrian World Class Programme, which supports a pathway to success for eventing, show jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage athletes. The aim is to have in place a sustainable system that can deliver more medals on the international stage now and in the future. The programme has been funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, primarily from the National Lottery, via UK Sport since 1998.

Final team competition results: 1, Germany - 145; 2, Great Britain - 155.4; 3, Belgium - 171.

Final individual competition results: 1, Jule Wewer & Dorina 740 (Germany) - 41.7; 2, Pieter Kenis & Rocky (Belgium) - 45.7; 3, Joseph O'Brien & Ice Cool Bailey (Ireland) - 47.3; 5, Lottie Kennedy & Darraks Tonto (Great Britain) - 49.3; 6, Katie Bleekman & Cregaan Scenic (Great Britain) - 49.5; 7, Jessica Watts & Lord of the Ring (Great Britain) - 50.2; 12, Ella McEwen & Catherston Nutsafe (Great Britain) - 56.6;

36, Sophie Martin & Trewithian Bracken (Great Britain) - 126.1; Alfie Bradstock & Montezuma II (Great Britain) - Withdrawn before show jumping

The Derby House British Eventing Pony squad was made up of the following:

Team of four:

l 15-year-old Ella McEwen from Swindon, Wiltshire on Catherston Nutsafe, owned by Lizzie Murray and Jennie Loriston-Clarke

l 16-year-old Lottie Kennedy from Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, riding her pony Darraks Tonto

l 15-year-old Sophie Martin from Ellesmere, Shropshire and her pony Trewithian Bracken

l 16-year-old Katie Bleekman from Cullompton, Devon on Cregaan Scenic, owned by Team Bleekman

Two Individuals:

l 14-year-old Jessica Watts from Lutterworth, Leicestershire on her pony, Lord Of The Ring

l 15-year-old Alfie Bradstock from Wantage in Oxfordshire on Montezuma II, owned by Louise Hamilton


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