The final showjumping phase proved an influential one in the British Horse Feeds U25 CCI4*-L, with just three faultless performances – and the riders who produced them earning places on the podium.

Lying sixth after dressage and cross-country, it was Britain’s Heidi Coy and her own Halenza who set the pace with the first clear round over Di Boddy’s flowing course – both jumping and time – to finish on her dressage score of 34.4. This put the pressure on the top five because only a clear round would hold their position on the leaderboard.

Next in was Greta Mason riding Cooley for Sure, who rose from eight after dressage to fifth with a faultless cross-country – could they match this over the coloured poles? Indeed they could, making it another clear for the home side and piling more pressure on to the top quartet.

Dressage leaders Alex Holman and Carrick Diamond Bard, owned by the rider and Janet Coe, dropped three places with some time faults across the country yesterday, but still within touching distance of a podium finish. Sadly, it was two fences down for a finishing total of 40.4, dropping him behind Greta and Heidi.

The French have a strong record in this class and it’s a primary target for their rising stars – 2022 proved to be no different. Héloïse Le Guern is a name new to the British crowd, but one we’ll certainly remember. Riding Canakine du Sudre Z for Philippe and Benedicte Le Guern, she cantered in, surveyed the ring and set off with purpose, her horse clearly unaffected by yesterday’s cross-country efforts. They went clear, and into the lead with two to come.

Her compatriot, Morgane Euriat, was next with Baccarat D Argonne, but sadly Bramham’s Top Arena didn’t prove a happy hunting ground for the duo because they lowered two poles to knock them off the podium.

It was then the final pair, Britain’s Phoebe Locke and Halenza, who had risen to the top of the leaderboard with a fantastic clear yesterday. They looked in great fettle, taking the first and second fences well, but a slight rub at the third was followed by lowering number four, to a groan from the crowd. They kept their nerve and were clear the remainder of the way, but a second over the time added a further 0.4 to their total for a final score of 34.8 and fourth spot.

So, the win went to France and Héloïse Le Guern, who proved that well-judged clear rounds are key to taking championship titles. She was joined on the podium by British duo Greta Mason in second, who also takes the title of British U25 champion, and Heidi Coy in third – both riders making a six-place rise up the leaderboard from their dressage positions thanks to clean jumping sheets.

Pony team gold medallist Héloïse bought Canakine Du Sudre Z from Olympic French rider Cedric Lyard, who started the horse’s career including completion at the World Young Horse Championships at Le Lion d’Angers as the seven-year-old, and she’s been partnered with him for three years. They’ve had two podium finishes previously, including third at the CCI4*-S at Barroca d’Alva in 2020, but this is their biggest win in their blossoming career.

After her lap of honour, the 24-year-old said; “This is an amazing competition. I’ve been before to support some friends and I was very excited to come here to compete. It’s really amazing, the cross-country course is very big and exciting, and there are so many people watching – more than we get in France! The house, the park, everything is beautiful.

“I’ve had him for just over three years. He’s a very stressy horse – in arena familarisation, he was difficult, the dressage he was very afraid about the arena, on the cross-country he was a little nervous, but very focused on the fences. In the jumping today, he looked around at everything but he jumped very well and had a lot of energy. I’m really happy with him. If I ride good, he is good! Sometimes, even when I ride bad, he is good!”

The duo has five-star aspirations and, based on what we saw this week, few would doubt they’ll achieve that and more.

Full results – click here.