Christie Pritchard 3rd in Young Rider Grand Prix at Wierden
Friday 01 June 2018
Having only recently come back to international competition after a two year break, it was a great performance from Christie Pritchard that saw her finish 3rd in the Young Rider Grand Prix in Wierden this evening.
This was the final class for the Young Riders at the Dutch Youngster Festival which started on Thursday and culminates tomorrow, 2nd June with the Pony, Children and Junior Grand Prix competitons.
Christie who is aged 21 years, from Holyhead in Gwynedd and currently studying Law at Bangor University, was one of just eight competitors who managed to post a first round clear from a starting field of thirty-five combinations. Riding her mother Tracy’s 13 year-old British Bred dark bay gelding Bolton Gate Ben, their first round clear saw them jump a rhythmic clear showing plenty of scope over the 1.45m course.
The jump off saw the eventual winner, Tristan Marchal (NED) with Sambucca, take a particularly tight turn inside a fence to take the lead having left all fences untouched in a time of 38.97 seconds. Tristan’s fellow rider Lars Kersten (NED) took second on H-Cassino with their clear in a time of 39.52 seconds. Christie, who felt that it was better to just ride on a forward pace without taking too many risks posted a second equally impressive clear to stop the clock in 40.80 seconds.
Talking afterwards Christie said "It’s just amazing to come back after two years away from competing on teams and do this today. He [Bolton Gate Ben] felt great. We changed his bridle yesterday and it really seemed to suit him, he was just so rideable. The jump off was ok, there was a tight turn to a vertical which I actually didn’t take that the winner did, so I’m delighted that he has shown he can cover the ground and put in a fast time whilst taking sensible lines. I hope we can carry on building on today and perhaps start competing on the senior international circuit in the near future. Naturally, I’m hoping for young rider European Championships team selection but I also know it’s a big ask and there’s a lot to do still if we are to be in contention".
Four other combinations in the eight strong jump off managed to post a second round clear, however none of them managed to break the 41 second barrier which saw them relegated further down the line.
For full results visit www.dutchyoungsterfestival.com.