Team GB Claim Gold on Final Day of European Pony Championships

Team GB Claim Gold on Final Day of European Pony Championships

It was a case of double delight for Saffie Osborne, 16, who followed-up the team win with individual gold at the championships, held at Bishop Burton College.

The final day’s competition was excellent for spectators, but less so for the nerves of competitors, with a cat’s whisker between the top three medal positions.

As the afternoon’s showjumping phase developed, Saffie had the luxury of knowing she could knock down a fence and still win gold for the team and herself.

“I didn’t say to myself that I could have a fence down,” said a delighted Saffie. “I didn’t want to jinx anything and rode it like there was nothing in hand.

“I know that my pony’s a careful showjumper but until you’ve gone over the finishing line you can’t be certain.”

The win was the icing on the cake for the end of Saffie’s career in ponies. She took the individual and team silver medals in the championships in Hungary last year, so to go one further and win was the fairy tale she and her family had been dreaming of.

In September she will return to school to start her A-levels but has already set her sights on following in her father’s footsteps and becoming a jockey.

Saffie’s father is Wetherby-born former jockey Jamie Osborne, now a Lambourn trainer. Her pony, Little Indian Feather,was rescued from a roadside in Tipperary as a two-year-old.

Team Ireland took the silver medal, with France returning home with the bronze medal.

Sophie Foyle, of Ireland, took the individual silver medal position behind Saffie’s gold, with GB’S Daisy Proctor, 15, from Lincolnshire, taking bronze.

In addition to Saffie and Daisy, the other team GB eventing members were Hattie Grace, 16, from Northamptonshire, and Ellie Healy, 16, from Wiltshire.

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