Melton rider steers GB to Nations Cup podium in Belgium

Aimee and Never Last had just one pole down in their two rounds EMN-170518-101844002
Aimee and Never Last had just one pole down in their two rounds EMN-170518-101844002

An up-and-coming Melton rider Aimee Jones helped her British team to a top-three finish at the Nations Cup last week.

The 20-year-old anchored the British Young Riders team, riding under the Team NAF banner, to third place at Sentower Park, in Opglabbeek, Belgium.

Jumping a tough course against several competitive nations, the Brits finished behind Belgium and The Netherlands.

The Belgians headed the field on a total of just nine penalties, one ahead of The Netherlands with Great Britain in third on 23 penalties.

Jones and her 13-year-old dark bay gelding Never Last, owned by Susan Jones, produced a confident first round which ended in a fantastic clear.

And in an otherwise clean performance, they were unlucky to pick up four penalties in their second round to be the best British performers and cement the podium finish.

Earlier Theo Simpson (20), from Essex, and Touch of Chilli finished with eight penalties after the two rounds, Taisie De Gruchy (19) from Jersey, with Winner of Picobello Z, picked up 11 overall, and Southampton rider Bethanie Knight, on Quenotte, picked up 14 penalties in each round which saw them become the drop score.

Jones capped a superb event by finishing as best Brit in the Young Rider 1.45m Grand Prix at Sentower Park’s Youth Festival.

She was among only four of the 48 starters to go clear over the strong track, and then produced another penalty-free round to slot into third place, 1.95 seconds behind Dutch winner Kim Hoogenraat and France’s Megane Moissonnier.