It’s a grand finale as Nicole wins gold and team bronze

Nicole Lockhead Anderson of Banchory won the Grand Prix and helped the GB pony team to bronze in the FEI Jumping Nations Cup Youth last weekend.

Nicole, 16, and Gangnam Style II took the honours at Sentower Park in Opglabbeek, Belgium on Saturday following an incredibly fast jump-off clear in 37.79 seconds.

She just couldn’t be caught and Ireland’s Charlotte Houston and Happy Girl were relegated to second place in a time of 37.92 seconds.

Gangnam Style II, a nine-year-old bay gelding, is owned by Claire Lockhead, Nicole’s mother.

The British girls dominated the line-up with Lily Freeman-Attwood and Valmy de Treille taking third place with a clear in 38.23 seconds. Aberdeen’s Shaunie Greig, 15, on Casino Royale, a 15-year-old bay gelding owned by Anne Greig, took sixth place.

The British pony riders, competing under the title sponsor banner of Team LeMieux, won their Nations Cup bronze on Sunday with a team made up of Nicole, Shaunie, Claudia Moore, 13, from Brentwood, Essex with Delfip, an 11-year-old bay mare owned by Katrina Moore and Perdita Digby, 15, from Dorchester, Dorset with Kayleighs Star, a 13-year-old coloured mare owned by Lady Sophie Digby.

The fifth member of the squad was Lily Freeman Attwood, 16, from Shrewsbury, with Capability Brown, a seven-year-old bay gelding owned by Emily Freeman Attwood who jumped the opening leg of the competition on Friday before continuing as an individual after only four members of the squad were invited to come forward for the Nations Cup legs.

Claudia, who had won individual bronze at the Pony European Championships at Bishop Burton earlier this year in addition to team gold, put in the sole clear for the team, returning home on a zero penalty score. Shaunie, Perdita and Nicole picked up just four penalties apiece.

Ireland and Belgium took the top two positions after a thrilling third round jump-off which saw Ireland just take the lead to claim the victory.

This brought the summer Pony Nations Cup season to a close after what has been a particularly successful year.

With the team riders ranging from just 13-16 years of age it bodes well for the future of the sport and the talent coming up through the ranks within the pony environment.

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