Up until this week Pippa Allen had never competed in the US and now she is returning home with a prestigious Battle of the Sexes winning medal.
The 20-year-old Stockton-on-Tees showjumper was part of the Ladies Team in the $75,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes event in Wellington, Florida. It has become a tradition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian as for the past six years male and female riders pit their wits against each other to see who can complete a course in the quickest possible time.
It was Girl Power that prevailed this year and was complemented by the emergence of Allen who impressed among a group of seasoned pros. The Brit was invited to join the team of showjumping stars such as one of the world's leading riders, Laura Kraut. Nicole Bellisimo, Danielle Goldstein, Brianne Goutal, Lauren Hough, Maggie Jayne, Catherine Passmore, Debbie Stephens and team captain Candice King made up the rest of the squad.
They were up against a highly skilled male team which included Team GB London 2012 'Team Gold' rider, Nick Skelton, making it a highly anticipated competition. Both team competed admirably but the men were leading by two points going into the final six competition. Passmore was the only rider able to clear the jump giving the women the 2014 title.
Speaking after the event, Allen said: "This is my first year in America and it was amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was like riding into a football stadium and afterwards everyone was coming up to see us.
"It was so much fun. I am really, really happy that I was invited to compete. Girl Power is so much fun, all being together and cheering each other on like this."
Allen will be looking to take this form as inspiration for her competitions in the remainder of the year.