Norfolk riders win inter county challenge

The winning team, Norfolk Elise take home their prizes by Christopher Doyle

The winning team, Norfolk Elise take home their prizes by Christopher Doyle - Credit: Archant

Norfolk were the surprise overall champions at the British Dressage Inter County Challenge held at Norton Heath Equestrian Centre.

The victorious team comprised Alison Bailey, Rebecca Townsend, Zoe Young and Lynn Fielder, who beat former champions London to the title.

An emotional Amanda Edwards, Chef d'Equipe for the Norfolk side, declared herself 'over the moon' with the result.

'We knew we were capable of winning but we were up against some fantastically strong teams like London and Essex,' she said. 'Our teams upped their game so I am immensely proud.'

The stand-alone competition is now in its third year, with seven counties taking part and over 80 competitors competing.

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Norfolk's other two teams were also well placed, coming fifth and eighth. The Cambridgeshire Sapphire's were seventh and the Essex Verve team tenth.

Norfolk also claimed individual titles in two of the four classes, with Zoe Young and Angelos claiming the Novice overall champion and Rebecca Townsend on Feedmark's Blake claiming the Prelim overall champion.

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Zoe, who is based in Wymondham, has owned Angelos since he was four. He is now 11, and Zoe says he hasn't been the easiest horse, explaing: 'Originally he was bought for my sister but they never really clicked. Up until last year we did BSJA, which we found was the way to his heart. I only started BD late last year but I have caught the bug now and we are focussing solely on it.'

Angelos has qualified for the regional finals that will take place at the end of the year and is now moving up to Elementary.

It was also rumoured that the selectors approached some of the Norfolk teammates to ask them to try out for the Eastern Team, which would go on to represent England at the Senior Home International, which Amanda says is, 'extremely unusual.'

Amanda added: 'Competitions like this are so brilliant for the sport as dressage is normally a very individual competition. We hope to go one better next year and try and claim the top three team placings.'

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