Brentwood School’s Claudia Moore has added an Individual Bronze medal to her Team Gold gong at the Pony European Championships held at Bishop Burton College in East Yorkshire.
Thirteen-year-old Claudia became the youngest Brit to win a Pony European Championship medal after securing third spot aboard Elando van de Roshoeve, a 14 year-old bay gelding owned by Katrina Moore.
Sunday’s success (12th August) was a double celebration for Claudia who had already been presented with a Team Gold the previous Friday afternoon as part of the winning British Team jumping under the title sponsor banner of Team LeMieux.
A total of 29 riders started out in the individual final and Claudia got her medal campaign off to a great start when she delivered an immaculate clear in the first round of the day.
She was unfortunate to pick up 4 faults at the first part of the combination in her second round, but such was the strength of her previous performances, Claudia found herself in the jump off for the Individual Bronze medal alongside Romane Orhant from France. The Individual Gold and Silver medals were already secured by Ingemar Hammarström, from Sweden, and Max Wachman, from Ireland, which left Claudia and Romane to go head to head for the final podium place.
Romane was first to go in the jump off and he finished on 8 penalties in 52.73 seconds. It was then Claudia’s turn to enter the arena and she proved to be brilliant under pressure when she returned clear across the finish line in 50.34 seconds, guaranteeing her the Bronze medal.
Talking after the medal ceremony, a delighted Claudia said: “Winning Gold on Friday just felt unreal. It was my first time at a championship and to win a Gold is something I had never imagined. It was just so special and surreal. I woke up this morning knowing that I had a possibility of a medal but when I had one down, I thought I’d lost the chance so was devastated.
“When I found out I had the chance to jump off for the Bronze I just knew I had to give it everything I could as it could be the only opportunity I ever have. I went into the arena knowing that I really had to jump clear and when I did it was just incredible. To have won a team medal and then to win an individual medal was just icing on the cake. When I came out the arena mum and dad started crying, they were so emotional. I didn’t join them in the crying as I think I had cried myself dry on the Friday!”
The Chef d’Equipe accompanying Team LeMieux was Clare Whitaker who reflected on a successful championships: “Claudia had to get round with 4 faults or less and she showed maturity beyond her years. It’s difficult for anyone when you are competing at this level with medals at stake and for her to achieve it at just 13 years of age at her first championships is incredible. It’s been a great championships for us having also won Team Gold on Friday. The team were brilliant not only in their riding but also in keeping their cool and pulling together when others fell apart around them.”
Sixteen nations took part in the championships, which were held from the 7th to 12th August. Great Britain took the Team Gold with 8 penalties ahead of Sweden and France who took the Silver and Bronze medals respectively.