WILTSHIRE’s Jess Mendoza got off to a shaky start at her first senior championship event, the Jumping FEI European Championships, in Aachen, Germany.

Mendoza was the third British rider to go in the Turkish Airlines Prize speed class, riding Sarah Mendoza’s bay mare Spirit T, with whom she has competed at top level Nations Cup contests this year.

The combination was unfortunate to have two poles down in what was an otherwise superb round, posting a time of 79.32.

“I was trying to go quite quick, it didn’t quite pay off as I had two down,” Jess commented, “I’m really excited to be here at my first senior championship, it’s just amazing.

“It was a nice course to start, nearer the end it got a bit trickier; I don’t quite know why she had that one down [the first fence], and then, like I said she went too quick and I couldn’t get her back enough.”

The rest of the British team put in strong performances, with the three other combinations producing clear rounds.

Michael Whitaker and Cassionato went first for Great Britain and stopped the clock at 76.56 seconds, followed by Ben Maher on Diva II who completed the course in 70.78 seconds, for a seventh place finish.

Joe Clee and Uta rode last for the team and with a time of 69.67 seconds, managed to secure third place behind Penelope Leprevost of France and Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum.

Talking about the team’s performance, Joe said: “They [Ben and Michael] were brilliant to start with which takes the pressure off you a little bit, but it’s still on.

“Jess was a little bit unlucky there. I thought she rode really good, just looked a little but green in that arena maybe.

“Those two rounds put me a little bit more relaxed and motivated me as well, seeing those guys going so fast.”

Team GB currently lie in third place after the first qualifying round. All four athletes will contest the Team competition round one, on Thursday, August 20, with the final round of the competition decided on Friday, August 21.

For more information and the full results visit results.aachen2015.de