2007 was a special year in the history of Blair Castle International Horse Trials, as the event hosted the FEI European Young Rider Eventing Championships (EU-YR-CH).
Aged between 18 and 21, the Young Rider competitors represent the cream of up and coming talent across Europe. The Championships are without doubt an extraordinarily good indicator of future medal success – many of Britain’s current leading senior riders won medals at Young Rider Levels, including William Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell, Daisy Dick, Kristina Cook, Sarah Cohen, Polly Stockton and Zara Phillips.
Britain has an enviable record in Young Rider Championships, and the 2007 team had the home advantage of being able to run 12 riders instead of the usual 6. The team selectors, David Merrett (Chairman and Chef d'Equipe), Alex Colquhoun, Sarah Bullen and Jane Reid had a wealth of talent to choose from. Legendary team trainer Gill Watson also had her work cut out with such a large squad.
The 12-strong squad finally chosen were: Charlotte Agnew (Little Beau), Charlotte Castle (The Cointreau Challenge), Dani Cuomo (Ballin Willow), Emily Galbraith (Crown Alliance), Sophie Griffith-Jones (Seaboy), Flora Harris (Double Image II), Ben Hobday (Uptons Who), Ginny Howe (Cavort), Nicola Malcolm (McFly), Lauren Shannon (Quixotic), Georgie Spence (Cottage Craft Spirals) and Nicola Wilson (Oingy Boingy).
A less-than perfect start in the dressage was soon overturned out on the cross-country course, and Team GB ended the Championships in great style. The team of Charlotte Agnew, Dani Cuomo, Emily Galbraith and Georgie Spence took gold, whilst Nicola Wilson won individual silver and Emily Galbraith the individual bronze.
The results take Team GB's medal haul at Young Rider Championships to 52 since the Championships began in 1981. They have won 24 team medals - 14 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze - and 28 individual medals - 8 gold, 9 silver and 11 bronze.
The 2008 EU-YR-CH will be held in Kreuth in Germany from 25-28 September.