Representing Britain

FEI European Youth Championships
Kisbér Ászár, Hungary
15-19 August 2018


Team GBR Drivers

Find out more
about the drivers

Jay Snow (Young Driver)
Grace Smith (Young Driver)
Katy Alvis (Young Driver)
Megan Wheeldon (Junior)

Colette Holdsworth (Junior)
Isobel Wesbroom-Warr (Junior)
Oliver Bennett (Children)
Nicole Holdsworth (Children)

Team GBR Travel Blog

 by Sophie Beale

  List of Competitors
Starting orders
A few quotes about the show from those who were there.

Jo: It was really, really hot!

Katy: The ice cream vendor didn’t open until 11am!

Johnny: My feet got sunburnt!

Meg: Very difficult cones course.

Tracy: I am soooo tired I can’t think!

Pip: @Ł$%@ hot!

David: Roller coaster of a day!

Trisha: Using three non-competing turnouts, each carrying the national flag of the three medallists, to complete the laps of honour on behalf of the medallists was a good idea

Karl: The ice cream was really good!

Sara: The cones course was tight and the only double clears came in the children’s class. This meant that the cones element of the competition had a huge effect on the scores. This led to some unexpected results.

Julie: Much easier packing up without a pony.

Peter: We’ll be back!

Sally: Great dry run for the world championships next year. The team really had to draw on their reserves of resilience to cope with the heat and humidity.

Ollie: Glad I came with my Swegway and my football boots as both were very handy!

Jill: Hope it is not so hot next year - I don’t know how they all coped!

Emily: It is a long way but our stop over hosts were fantastic which made it great road trip and great experience!

Jack: It didn’t exactly go to plan but the parties were good!

Marilyn: Congratulations to everyone and what a fantastic support team!

Mary Jane: As expected we had a full on week. It was one that demonstrated the value of team work.

Sophie, who has be busy blogging and Facebooking (in addition to many other jobs including sandwich making and key photographer), and I arrived at the show ground on Sunday.

Roger arrived on Monday morning and helped settle the team ponies and drivers into their exercise and warm up routines, then Rosanna and team trainer Sara Howe came on Tuesday afternoon.

Our Team vet Sally Hodgson, who was a first timer with the team also arrived on Tuesday.

The whole group worked well together and it was a pleasure to be the Chef d'Equipe.

Thank you to all our supporter at the show and at home. After a short rest we shall no doubt start working on the next event!

Final results:

Children - Single Pony
6th Oliver Bennet
8th Nicole Holdsworth
(22 in class)

Juniors - Single Pony
1st Colette Holdsworth
18th Isobel Wesbroom-Warr
EL Megan Wheeldon
(24 in class)

Young Drivers - Single Pony
11 Katy Alvis
13th Jay Snow
(17 in class)

Young Drivers - Single Horse
EL Grace Smith
(11 in class)

Young Drivers - Pony Fours
4th Roger Campbell
(4 in class)


Saturday 18 August
After prize giving last night were games. Each nation put forward a team of four for a relay race that took place within the marquee.

The first competitor rode on the back of the carriage driven by tiny tot, s/he leapt out and into a wheelbarrow driven by competitor two.

They did a lap of the cones and then the wheelbarrow driver was driven around in a single carriage, driven by competitor three.

Once competitor three’s round was complete, competitor four drove a golf buggy around the cones course.

The GBR competitors were, in order, Katy, Jack, Ben (who struggled and cut up a number of cones) and Ollie.

We didn’t win any prizes, the whole thing would have given any one concerned with health and safety a heart attack, but a great time was had by all!

Today was marathon day.

Nicole and Ollie were on early and very close together.

Jay and Katy were also very close together - consecutive slots! MJ wins no prizes for the draw! Grace was the last of the team GBR team to go (followed fairly closely by Rog).

It was another scorching day - at one point the thermometer that was part of the start clock read 39 degrees Celsius.

Whilst a number of the horses needed to be re-presented at the final vet check due to having high heart rates, these came down quickly showing the value of the preparatory fitness work undertaken earlier in the year.

Megan and Barney arrived at obstacle four having been in the top two for the previous three obstacles but within obstacle four they caught a post, the shafts bent and they were forced to retire as she left the obstacle. However, she is ready to go for a double clear tomorrow!

Collette also had a bit of drama on the way out of obstacle four as the shaft twisted. However, Mum was on it and was able to twist it back and they managed to successfully complete the course within the time.

Now we are off to prize giving and party night. Cones walking starts at 7.25 so an early start for all.

Full results

Friday 17 August
The day started with obstacle walking with Sarah, Rog and Rosanna, for those who did their dressage yesterday.

This gave competitors a chance to get advice on the best route for their turnout.

Jay was the first GBR competitor of the day with a dressage time of 0940. Jay’s hard work has paid off as the improvement in the way the pony performed in the arena was commented on by all the trainers.

Katy was delighted with the way that her pony went during the test. There were a few anxious moments during the shared time in the practice arena just prior to her test as her pony was in season and the other pony sharing the space was a stallion.

Grace also did a good test and was pleased with her score. So, bring on tomorrow!

The new Musto team kit has stood the test of the hot weather and looks smart even after a perfunctory rinse.

The rucksacks have also come in handy. Sally, in particular, has found hers to be very useful for carrying around veterinary essentials. However, due to the very hot weather, the coats have not (yet) been required.

Last night Chris Smith suffered a nasty cut to the ankle after a collision, in the dark, with a scooter.

Fortunately, the GBR team includes a veterinary surgeon and a highly competent nurse and between them they patched him up until he was able to get to hospital this morning.

At the hospital he had an x-ray which showed that it hadn’t been fractured but it did require three stitches. We are all very impressed with the service provided by the local hospital and Jill Holah’s organising and chauffeuring service.

Young Drivers (pony):
Katy Alvis - 10th
Jay Snow - 16th

Young Drivers (horse):
GRace Smith - 5th

Young Drivers (pony fours):
Roger Campbell - 4th

Download the full dressage results (PDF file)

Thursday 16 August

First dressage day !

Nicole was the first British competitor in the dressage arena today, starting proceedings off at 10:20.

Next to go was Ollie at 12:50, then Isobel at 14:30, Megan at 15:40 and Collette at 17:50.

It was very hot - at 15:30 it was 35 degrees Celsius in the shade!

The arena and stands were in full sun, which made it hot for competitors and spectators alike.

All the drivers and their ponies tried really hard; however, there were some surprises in terms of the marks awarded by the judges.

Sara Howe said “Lots of the scores for today’s drivers are really close and we are looking forward to the marathon on Saturday.”

Those not competing today trained their ponies, taking them out once or twice depending on individual circumstances.

Time not taken up by training was generally spent spectating (plus cheering), obstacle walking or trying to cool down!

Dealing with the heat seems to have become a major theme of the show.

By this afternoon the training ground had become very dusty.

The show organisers arranged for the local fire brigade to spray the surface with water.

No organised entertainments have been organised for this evening so plenty of time for obstacle walking!

Dressage results for Thursday:

Children - single pony:
12th - Oliver Bennett
14th - Nicole Holdsworth
(22 competitors in class)

Juniors - single pony:
6th - Colette Holdsworth
13th - Megan Wheeldon
22nd - Isobel Wesbroom-Warr
(24 competitors in class)

Download full dressage results for Thursday (PDF file)

Wednesday 15 August

Wednesday did not involve as early a start as Tuesday. Trot-up was not until 1030.

All of the drivers handled this rather tense challenge very well and all the ponies and Max (the only horse) were passed fit to compete.

After trot up came the photo shoot. As there are so many generous sponsors there were quite a few quick outfit changes, so any driver or groom looking to get involved in a haute couture fashion shoot now has something to put on their CV!

The photos kept everyone entertained until about mid-day and at 1220 there was a course drive, which was then followed by some ‘free time’.

The opening ceremony commenced at 4pm, with important people arriving in carriages. Twelve very small Hungarian children, driving single ponies, except one who drove a pair, entered the arena with each turnout carrying a flag of one of the competing nations.

Mr. Sweden must be commended for keeping his cool as he had a very fiery pony - considerable ‘backstep driving’ was apparent which may, or may not, have helped his confidence.

The arena was very hot. Managing the heat was not helped by wearing blazers. Poor Isobel threatened to faint but quickly revived following a sit down.

Team GBR drew the short straw in terms of arena training time, as it started at 5pm, i.e., straight after the opening ceremony. This meant that for Grace, whose 10 minutes started at 5pm, preparation time was a bit rushed.

By the way, the opening ceremony dinner (roll in and roll out) is excellent. Hot, plentiful, well presented and yummy! In case you are ever in need of a Hungarian caterer the food comes from Martin Holle’s dad.

Tuesday 14 August

The showground opened on Sunday. Katy Alvis was the first to arrive at about 10.30 and most of the others were not far behind her.

The lorry park is nice and flat and located very close to the training area. The stables, however, are on the top of the hill and the British camp is nearly as far away as you can get from the stables. These two factors mean that either the fitness or memories of team members should improve before the week is out.

Monday was a rest day. A time to acclimatise to the very hot weather and to introduce the horses to the show ground.

Also of note was the arrival of the team kit. It came in several large boxes and it all felt a bit like Christmas.

In the evening, there was a under 16 versus over 16 football match. I am not sure of the rules, but am sure they weren’t ones that would be recognised by FIFA.

It was a multi-national event, with team members swapping in and out at random intervals. Ollie, Jay, Fleur and Maurice did GB proud.

The match was declared a draw (I am not sure anyone was actually keeping score) and, after no clear winner had been identified via a dance (floss) off, the winner had to be decided by a penalty shoot out.

The U16s won the shoot out and the prize was free ice creams for all team players. The ice creams were of very high quality and rated 5/5.

On Tuesday, Rog was available for training from 0600-0800, meaning that team GB members were out and about even earlier than the Germans!

There was then time for a bit of R&R before the team GBR allotted time for practising in the arena (1300-1500).

Trot up practice was due to take place after Sara Howe and Sally (the vet) had arrived, but they were delayed and storm clouds were threatening so that was started without them.

Fortunately, they turned up just in time to see everyone perform and then the rain started.

It is Nations night tonight so just off to do some chopping and mixing.



MEET THE TEAM - Find out more about the drivers