Junior Team Medal for GBR

Manerbio, Italy September 13th 2013

The 2013 FEI European Reining Championships for Juniors and Young riders was hosted by the Italian Reining Horse Association at the Palasturla Arena in Manerbio, Italy, and attracted entries from 6 nations. The European Championships is the highest medal opportunity for Junior and Young RIders as they are not able to compete at The World Equestrian Games or The Olympics.

Britain fielded the youngest team in the Juniors, comprising of Tabitha Sternberg Allen, Isobel Le Pla and Fiona Howard, also making it the smallest team. A full team consists of four riders with the top three scores being used. Despite huge pressure, knowing that with only three riders they had no option of a drop score, the girls put in solid runs leaving them on tender hooks waiting for the final German rider to compete. Although the Germans had a full team plus 2 individuals the pressure became too much and the British team claimed the Bronze medal.

Fiona Howard, a student at Benenden School in Kent, renowned for producing talent in many areas, was the youngest rider in the competition. Tabitha Sternberg Allen, an Equestrian scholarship student from St Leonards Mayfield acknowledged for its National Eventing and Show Jumping success, was on the second oldest horse. Isobel Le Pla, a student at Robertsbridge Community College, recognised for its Math’s and Computing excellence, has delighted her school by becoming their first FEI Medalist at her first international event. All three schools were fantastically supportive, even though Tabitha and Isobel are in the midst of their GCSE courses.

The girls train with Doug Allen at Sterling Quarter Horses, Bodiam, East Sussex, and he took on the role of Chef d’Equipe for this event. After the medal ceremony Doug said “I am really delighted with the girls, they rode very well, used their heads and didn’t crack under the pressure, it bodes incredibly well for the future”.

Tabitha, 15yrs, high scoring rider of the team in both rounds on Yelena My Way, said “I am so excited for the team and incredibly grateful and proud of my horse Milo. He might be an oldie, but he’s a goldie!”

Isobel, also 15yrs, clearly thrilled with her first competitive trip abroad said “Wilma was fantastic, I had only ridden her once before this event but she looked after me and tried really hard. I am so grateful to Rosanne Sternberg for lending her to me and allowing me this wonderful opportunity.”

Fiona 14yrs, had a fast but exciting run and said of her horse Spookinic “He gets really excited in there when he knows it’s a big event, but I’ve had a great season with him and I was really proud to represent my country here”.

All three riders advanced to the individual finals where Tabitha placed 12th, Isobel 13th and Fiona 15th.

The girls wanted to acknowledge and thank Francesca Sternberg, Doug Allen, Nicola Peters and Jane Muir for all their help and support, “It was an incredibly tiring week but we’ve loved every minute of it”. Issy, as well as training with Doug has been coached by Nicola Peters over the last 6 months. Nicola is a Level 2 Coach, also at Sterling, and was herself trained by Doug.
The girls next event will be the British Reining Championships in two weeks time and after that they are all hoping to be selected for next years American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup Team competition in Texas, USA. but for now it’s back to the books!

For further information or action photographs please contact office@sterlingquarterhoses.com or call Francesca on 07778031113

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