European Viewing Trials/Accenture International Squad Selection/Childrens European Viewing TrialsFebruary 2007
We both hope this letter finds you all well.
Review of 2006
We had a great year, not only at the Europeans but at every International show we attended. Firstly Le Touquet……poured with rain! But a great learning curve for all there, including both of us as we did not have enough warm clothes! Then on to Maarsbergen….torrential rain! We had great team results but the cost of everyone having to buy extra water proofs left a lot to be desired!!! Once again our biggest strength was our team spirit, including the pushing of the tack trunks through the knee deep mud!! Thank you Mr Dobby for being team leader with the tractor man!!
On to Compiegne and the Juniors and Young Riders came up trumps in both Nations Cup events. This is historically a tough show but we fought to the end with the Dutch in the under 18’s and kept the French at bay in the 21’s. The Under 21’s in Poland then jumped their hearts out to come 3rd in a Senior Nations Cup which was the biggest track most of them had ever seen. Now while this was going on Corinne took another set of riders to Wierden. This young squad held their own over some difficult and strong tracks and gained invaluable experience for the following year.
As always Championships are remembered for different reasons. This time last year we were reporting on a championship that did not quite go to plan. What a difference a year can make!! Outstanding team spirit on and off the jumping field, a support crew including all the parents, and the back stage gang being some of the best we have ever had lead to an extremely successful championships. One of the best moments for both of us though were the calls from home after the medal ceremonies from other members of the Accenture Squad and their parents congratulating the riders. Thank you every one.
Well to start with – try getting your French up to date!! The Championships this year are in Auvers, France from the 25th July.
The season starts as always with the European Viewing Trials at Wales and the West from the 26th April to the 29th April. This year the Accenture International Squad will also be chosen from these trials. There will be 2 squads, an under 18 squad and an under 21 squad. Having considered all the combinations over the 3 day period, the selectors will then review who will be selected for the 2007 Accenture International Squad which will be announced the following week. There are a few rules to the viewing trials we would like to draw your attention to. You must compete in the classes on the horse you wish to be considered throughout the 3 days of these trials and make it available to present to the team vet on the 3rd day if requested. The only exception to this is if the senior team manager requests one of the horses for senior International duties. All tack must comply with current FEI rules i.e. no standing martingales and it is the rider’s responsibility to ensure that this is the case – performances in breach of the FEI tack rules will not be considered. The European Viewing Trial horses must be stabled, (not in pens on the field!) on the show ground til the end of their grand prix. If you compete in the trials we will take this as your conformation of wishing to be considered and available for any Junior or Young Rider team. Please look at the calendar carefully before committing to these trials. The Accenture evening will be on the Thursday night. This, our 3rd year of hosting this evening, which will include the Team Manager awards, Guest speakers from other disciplines, a report on Athens and a presentation from the team vet, John Killingbeck. All Juniors, Young Riders, parents and coaches taking part in the European Viewing Trials are most welcome. We are sorry but we can not accommodate grooms or non riding members of the family. This is due to the numbers we will have attending and compliant with Health and Safety. Please advise how many of you will be attending on your entry form when entering. If any of you have owners attending please arrange this directly with Mike or Corinne.
For those of you who would like a warm up, there is a show in Le Touquet for Juniors and Ponies the week before. This is an ideal opportunity to go to an International show before competing in the trials and gain some valuable experience.
Following the trials there is a show in Auvers from the 18th to the 20th May. At the moment we do not know how many riders we can take but please put this in your diary. This is where the championships are to be staged later this year so a trip to the showground is great preparation.
There are 2 Junior and Young Rider Nations Cups this year. The first is in Compiegne from the 31st May to the 3rd June. This is followed by Wierden from the 5th June to the 9th of June.
Once these shows have been completed, a pre Championship show will be announced for all Championship riders. Following this, 2 days pre championship training will take place at a venue to be confirmed. During this training all travel arrangements will be discussed and final briefings will take place. Date to be confirmed as soon as possible.
Now something for family and friends. Last year Mike was lucky enough to go to The Children’s European Championships in Istanbul. Having been to this show we thought it would be a good idea to give some of our younger riders a chance to go this year to a show that Mike described as ‘The best show he had ever been to’. So ….we need children who are 12 ‘13 and 14 years old born in 1993, 1994 and 1995 only who can compete over courses of 1.10m, 1.15m and 1.20m. The viewing trials for these classes are also at this show in Wales.
If you are just starting or have a more novice horse and you are under 21 then there is a small tour (selection of competitions) at Wales for all of you who are not competing in the European Viewing Trials. We look forward to seeing you all there.
The Accenture squad is a very big part of the future of the sport. Once again this year we hope to travel some of you to Senior Nations Cups to give you experience of the next level up. Only by doing so will we be able to carry on supporting and feeding the pipeline into our senior teams. We have time and time again proved that our juniors and young riders are the best in Europe. If we can continue to produce results as in Athens then we will attract the funding we need to allow us to travel to more shows internationally and take a wider range of riders and horses. A massive thank you needs to go to all the sponsors and supporters from last year. Accenture support us in every way, Equiport gave us fantastic stable drapes, bandage bags, and rugs, Next gave us 1st class uniforms to wear for the trot up, Toggi supplied us the team clothing and the World Class Start and Potential provided the funding to travel extra riders and the vet to extra shows. This level of support once again adds to the overall team spirit of the Accenture squad.
To be selected for your country is the greatest honour that can be bestowed on you. We would like you to think carefully about why you want to wear that flag on your jacket and why you want to travel abroad. If it is to have a laugh with your friends then the squad is not for you. If it is to be serious about representing your country, win medals, work as a team for results then we are all talking the same language. Athens was exactly that formula and look at the results we achieved. 2 gold individual medals, 1 individual bronze medal, team silver, team bronze, and we won the consolation on the last day!! And then on the Sunday night we celebrated but not before.
We are very much looking forward to the season ahead. The sponsors and supporters from last year are looking for us to produce the results that everyone expects from us. So…….are you ready?????
At any time we are both available on the phone if you have any concerns. Please do not hesitate to call us and we will help you if we can. We will be attending several shows during the winter, once again feel free to come and introduce yourself to either one of us.
So, the date is the 26th April, the venue Wales and the West, the task is clear rounds!!
We hope to see you all there, Good luck for the coming season
Mike Florence and Corinne Bracken
NB: All prospective riders/owners/horses are required to have current membership of the BSJA. To compete abroad you require a valid FEI Passport for your horse which needs to be acquired well in advance of leaving the country and have completed FEI registrations for both horse and rider.
MIKE FLORENCE CORINNE BRACKEN 07795 385795 07774 244158