Team GB in India - March 9 - 16 2015
Jenna Copley, Rachel Imber, Sarah King and Michael Smith competed at the Asian and International competition at the Noida Sports Stadium, New Dehli, under the guidance of coach and reserve rider Danny Powell of the Household Cavalry.
GB took on 46 riders from 12 nations at the event. Countries competing alongside GB and the host nation were:
Iraq, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan plus two riders from the USA.
**Team GB were victorious in the Single File Team event plus Michael clinched the silver medal in Rings!**
After a nail-biting run off against Osama from the Iraqi team for first place, Michael was just pipped to take silver. This was a great result on the first day of competition against 46 other riders from around the globe for Michael who rode the brilliantly-named horse 'Tractor!'
Click image to scroll through gallery
The GB team consisted of Michael Smith, Rachel Imber, Sarah King and Jenna Copley, managed by Household Calvary Mounted Regiment (HCMR) Staff Corporal Daniel Powell and assisted by Tina Ricketts-Smith.
The team are all amateurs with full time jobs: Michael runs a food import busines;, Jenna is an accountant, Sarah is a school teacher and Rachel is a company director. The team were also grateful to the HCMR for releasing Daniel to manage the team.
Tentpegging is in the process of trying to gain British Equestrian Federation recognition, but is currently completely unfunded and relies on the competitors funding themselves and the goodwill of sponsors. Team clothing was kindly sponsored by Oncology Imaging Systems (OIS).
International competitions for tentpegging are run on borrowed horses. There is a draw for horses with teams having just three runs to get used to their mounts before competing. This makes this sport one of the most accessible for the horseless competitor - and also one of the few where buying an expensive mount counts for nothing. It is an ideal sport for the all-round horse, as well as a second career for ex-racehorses and ex-polo ponies.
Competing in Rings and Peg, Michael Smith achieved a full score and had a nail biting run off for Gold and Silver against Osama Lewa Goold from Iraq. Luck was against Michael as Osama claimed the Gold by just two points.
The team won gold in Indian file. This discipline sees the team ride one after another on a line of pegs, which is challenging for the riders behind as they cannot see the target until the last minute and have to control their borrowed horses to maintain distances apart. In the first round, run with lances, GB were neck and neck with Oman, but on the second round run, with sword, GB were delighted to pip Oman by 0.5 points to clinch the gold!
Europeans have started to take on this Asian-dominated sport: Along with the GB results, Germany won Silver in Individual Sword and Russia took a Bronze in Oranges.
Watch Michael's silver medal-winnng run: