Alex Barrelet in local press
Eventer Alex Barrelet enjoyed a dream outing at this year’s FEI Junior European Championships after finding herself finishing among the medals.
Making full use of her dual nationality, the 17-year-old from Wicken helped the Switzerland team create history by taking their first-ever medal at the three-day event staged in Vardy, France, earlier this month when picking up bronze in the team competition aboard Welcome Pearmain.
“The Swiss have never had a medal at the European Juniors before and everyone could not believe they managed to win one,” said mum Annalisa Barrelet. “Alex and the whole team were over the moon with the result.
“It was totally unexpected as we knew the other two Swiss girls would be good at the dressage, but we thought they may struggle on the cross country course which was quite technical.”
The result was made even more significant as had Barrelet, who qualifies for dual nationality through her father, not made the switch from pursuing a place in the Great Britain team, the Swiss team would not have been able to fulfil the criteria to compete in the team event.
“Alex was doing well in the events used to select the Great Britain team, but it was looking like she was only going to be selected as a reserve and with it being her last chance to compete in an under-18 international competition we decided to jump ship,” said Annalisa.
“It ended up being a bit of a fairytale as there was only two riders competing for Switzerland and, with each team requiring three scoring riders, until Alex joined they didn’t have the depth to compete as a team.”
Things could have turned out even better for Barrelet, and her teammates Teresa Stokar and Sophie Schiesser, with the trio only just denied a silver medal by the host nation.
“Going into the showjumping the girls were sitting in the silver medal position, but while Alex enjoyed a clear round one of the other girls hit down four poles which was enough to give the French silver,” said Annalisa.
While not quite matching the result in the team event Barrelet, who is currently studying A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths at the Perse School in Cambridge, still managed to finish 10th out of 89 participating in the event.
“We really went there just to take part so Alex was very happy finishing in 10th,” said Annalisa.
“After the dressage Alex was in 30th, but this was expected as her horse is more suited to cross-country.
“Alex was one of the few to finish the cross-country course under the time limit while she put in a double clear on the showjumping so she was more than happy.”
Source: Newmarket Journal 30th September 2013
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