Shrewsbury School

Thomas Tulloch wins gold at Pony European Championships

Monday 3 August 2015

Thomas Tulloch (Rt LVI) and his pony Spirit VI have led the British Charles Owen British Pony Team to a gold medal at this year’s 2015 FEI Pony European Championships. The competition took place at Malmö, Sweden from the 5th - 9th August 2015.

A total of 52 combinations competed in the Eventing Championship, with eight countries - Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden - fielding teams.

The GB team finished the Championship on a collective score of 138.7, 16 penalty points ahead of silver medallists France. In the individual competition, Thomas Tulloch finished in 4th place, less than one penalty point behind the bronze medal winner.

Gary Parsonage, the Chairman of the Charles Owen Pony Selectors, commented that "As the Chef d'Equipe I couldn't have asked for more. Thomas was so close to [individual] bronze but he couldn't have done any more for us yesterday or today."

Thomas was also part of the GB team at last year’s European Championship, when they won double silver.

He has been very busy competing throughout the 2015 season, successfully juggling his training and competitions alongside his GCSE exams and his other sporting commitments as a member of the School’s Football and Rugby U16A teams. In June, he won the Charles Owen National Pony Championships for the second year running.

He is currently at the very top of his sport and has been selected as one of 50 ‘Rising Stars’ for the very prestigious Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport 2015. This is a special mentoring and education programme for young athletes aged between 12 and 25 who have reached an elite level in their sport. The Academy’s aim is “to recognise, celebrate and inspire the next generation of British sporting heroes by giving them the opportunity to work with and learn from the best British sportsmen and women”.

It also brings with it a SportsAid Bursary to help with equipment, competition and training expenses. Former SportsAid recipients include Sir Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis Hill, Tom Daley and Ellie Simmonds, so Thomas is in good company!

Housemaster, Will Hughes is warm in his praise of Thomas’ achievements: “Thomas is a very talented boy; bright and articulate and a fine all-round sportsman.  He also acts and debates!  To his credit, he is incredibly modest and he never boasts about his achievements.  I often have to prise the information about his riding successes out of him.  He has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Thomas’ mother, Jancis Tulloch (who is herself a former 4* level rider) paid tribute to the support that he has received from Shrewsbury School and many others:  “Thomas' success is due in a large part to his talent and commitment, but he also has a great support team who contribute in so many ways. There’s the whole team of girls at home – Emily, Jo and Bridget who help keep the ponies in great condition while Thomas is at school; Tracey Tomlinson who helps train him; his sponsors Baileys Horse Feeds, Hit Air and I-Quip Gloves; and last but definitely not least, the huge support Shrewsbury School give him to enable him to fit in the time to train and compete alongside all his other school commitments.”

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