WILTSHIRE youngster Chelsea Pearce is celebrating the finest result of her career to date after finishing as the top British rider at last week’s Junior European Championships in Italy.

The 17-year-old, from Shalbourne, near Marlborough, wasn’t selected as one of Great Britain’s quartet to contest the team prize – Isabelle Upton, Phoebe Locke, Richard Coney and Felicity Collins clinched the bronze medal behind France and winners Germany – but flew in the face of that snub by besting her colleagues in the individual standings.

Pearce guided trusty 11-year-old gelding Albert VI to a personal best dressage score of 45.60 before racking up faultless cross country and show jumping rounds to finish eighth overall at the Military Riding Centre in Montelibretti, near Rome.

“We took six combinations but I wasn’t one of the four selected to be in the team. I was disappointed about that but I was really happy to finish as the top Brit,” said Pearce.

“Alby’s dressage score was a personal best for him. I was quite confident about the cross country and then he was faultless in the show jumping.

“He performed out of his skin. I’ve done a lot of work on the flats with him and a lot of work with Anabelle Scrimgeour (dressage trainer).”

Pearce turns 18 on October 15 and both rider and mount will be looking to make the step up to a new category next year.

She added: “I go up to young riders (for U21s). The aim will be to try and qualify for the Euros in that next summer with Alby.”