Upton clinches double silver

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Bury St Edmunds rider Isabelle Upton admits she is in dreamland after being crowned a double silver medallist at the 2014 FEI Pony European Championships at Millstreet in Ireland.

The 15-year-old was part of the Charles Owen sponsored GB Pony team who held their nerve on the last day of the championships in Ireland to secure the team silver medal, while her dressage score completion also clinched the individual silver.

One of the last into the arena in the dressage phase, Upton, who harbours aspirations of riding professionally when she leaves school, rode a lovely test on her own Alfie VI to position her in second place going into the jumping.

She rode with experience well beyond her years in the cross country and showjumping, producing two immaculate rounds to secure the silver medal.

“I still can’t quite believe it, but my pony was class all week, I couldn’t have asked anymore of him,” she said.

“I knew he had the potential to win a medal but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would actually happen.”

Now in her fourth year of affiliated eventing, it was Upton’s first call-up to the Charles Owen British squad, coming after a season where her two listed ponies, Alfie VI and Howen Loganberry, did not finish outside the top eight.

Upton, who attends the Stowe School boarding school in Buckinghamshire, also thanked her mum Rachel, who takes the ponies to the school every week for an overnight stay, for all of her support.

“They all performed out of their skins,” said Gary Parsonage, chair of the GB pony selectors.

“There was a lot of pressure, particularly for Bubby (Isabelle) as the last of our team to showjump.

“I’m very proud of all six of the riders this week and they thoroughly deserved such a great result.”

Each year the Pony European Championships are held for riders between the ages of 12 and 16 riding ponies between 142cm and 148cm.