Dani Evans helps Britain to FEI Nations Cup victory
Woollard riding star Dani Evans took the step up to the senior FEI Nations Cup in her stride as she helped the British team to an emphatic victory at Montelibretti near Rome.
The 21-year-old was the youngest member of the British quartet but rode with a confidence that belied her age as she maintained an exceptional standard throughout on Raphael II.
The British team – which also included Nicky Roncoroni, Emilie Chandler and Paul Sims – recorded the four highest scores in the opening dressage discipline before maintaining their dominance by picking up no time penalties in the cross-country.
Evans incurred 18 show-jumping penalties as she slipped from third in the individual standings to sixth overall but British still emerged victorious by 40 points from Italy and Germany.
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“It was a fantastic experience, and the team camaraderie was brilliant,” said Evans, who recently finished 11th at the Young Rider European Championships.
“I didn’t want to let anyone down but Raphael was awesome. The cross-country was quite tricky with a few questions and the time was tight but we all had great rounds, which really made it impossible for the other teams to get near us.”
Evans has had great success in the past on Raphael II, owned by Vanessa Watson, having won bronze on the talented horse at a previous Young Rider European Championships.
“Vanessa, who is incredibly supportive of me, was sadly unable to come out and watch this time,” said Evans, tipped as a potential star of Rio 2016.
“Hopefully I might get another chance to ride in the Nations Cup series again next year so that she can share the experience.”