Equestrianism: Frith still the dominant force
Tuesday 13 July 1999
The 29-year-old driver, who works five days a week as a pharmacist, has held the title since 1995 when the first championships for teams of four ponies were staged. This time Frith also won her first team medal when she joined forces with Anna Grayston and Ursula Hirschberg to finish second behind the winning Dutch trio.
Boyd Exell, the team trainer, was confident of victory for Frith as soon as she set off through the cones in the final obstacle driving. "She went through the first three and didn't waver at all," he said. "Everything was done exactly as we planned, you really couldn't have asked for anything better."
Frith had been a close second to Mia Allo - her Belgian conqueror at Windsor in May - at the end of the opening dressage phase. She then took the overall lead after the marathon - despite initial concerns at the exceptionally tight turns in the eight hazards - and retained it with a clear round through the cones.
It was thought that the hazards would favour the smaller ponies, such as the Shetlands driven for the Netherlands by Aart van der Kamp, who flew round in the fastest time of the day. But Frith and her larger Welsh ponies had the second best time and, having achieved a better dressage score than the Dutchman, she defeated him by 5.09 penalties.
Although Frith had not competed abroad for 18 months, she had a hunch that the Dutch and Germans would provide formidable opposition. Two of the Dutch drivers - Van der Kamp and Piotr van der Heyden - proved that point when winning team gold medals, having already taken the individual silver and bronze.
EUROPEAN DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR PONY TEAMS (Saumur, Fr): 1 G Frith (GB) 154.91 penalties; 2 A Van Der Kamp (Neth) 160.00; 3 P Van Der Heyden, Neth) 164.28. Other GB: 10 P Gammell 196.17; 14 A Grayston 204.42; 15 U Hirschberg 207.95. Teams: 1 Netherlands 324.28; 2 Britain 348.53; 3 Germany 367.41.
Latest in Sport
Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger 'optimistic' of making signing, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Edinson Cavani linked
Liverpool vs West Ham match report: Philippe Coutinho sent-off as woeful Reds thrashed with goals by Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2: Jose Mourinho uses forward Kenedy at left-back as frustration with Chelsea defence grows
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2: Blues' Twitter account jumps the gun, seconds before Joel Ward goal seals Eagles' victory
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 The 20 toughest job interview questions in the world
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...