The 4th British Junior National Championships
29-30 September 2007

For the fourth year running the championships were kindly held at Escrick Park in Yorkshire and competitors came from 4 nations, England, France, Scotland and Wales to support the growing event. There were juniors from the ages of 10-21 competing making the classes very competitive. The competition was as fierce as ever with all 4 nations in it to win it. Although the French were slightly handicapped due to only having one competitor! Once again the English reigned victorious with a convincing team performance for the 3rd year running, with the Scots in 2nd and the Welsh in third.

The competition became international this year with the French accepting the invitation to compete and, in accordance, a trot up was carried out with all competitors passing. The advantage of this was the horses were clean and plaited early giving us all much needed time to relax before our tests. Once again all teams had trainers these were, Karen Basset, Amanda Saville and Rowena Moyse on hand to give advice on all aspects of the competition. This paid off for the English with Mark Bell winning best dressage with a score of 33.6 for a second year winning.

The cones course was built by Carol Meredith and the balance between technicality and speed was perfect allowing sufficient double clears whilst still being challenging and most of important, enjoyable. The fastest time was recorded by Megan Caruthers with her nippy little pony earning her the only piece of Scottish silverware. On Saturday night the BHDTA supporters kindly funded a disco for all the drivers and helpers which was well attended and great fun.

Sunday?s weather was perfect for a Marathon not too hot, not too cold and not a hint of rain, ideal. Competitors started from 10:00 on the marathon and went around the beautiful Yorkshire countryside before reaching the obstacles. There were six obstacles all very different from each other and differing from past years giving competitors a fresh challenge. They were themed very widely from Halloween to my personal favourite Clapham Junction which, was built out of track signals and a centre piece of a tunnel. They were very enjoyable to drive and quick offering routes for all types of horses and all levels of drivers. The winner of the marathon was Rosanna Walter Symons who drove a consistent quick round with a score of 56.0 penalties.

On behalf of all the competitors I would like to thank the BHDTA supporters group and Baileys horse feeds for supporting the event for a 4th year running. I would also like to thank Amanda Saville and her extremely hard working team who put so much time and effort into running this unique event. Finally I would like to thank all the competitors and I hope to see them and many more turnouts next year.

Frank Campbell

Photos by and Jill Holah