The Girls team – Hayley Turner and Sammy Jo Bell captained by Emma-Jayne Wilson won the Shergar Cup for the first time on August 8, 2015.
Called up at late notice to replace injured Cathy Gannon, apprentice Sammy Jo enjoyed a "rockstar afternoon" with strong rides having a huge influence on the The Girls' success and also landing her the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle.
Finishing 13 points ahead of their nearest rivals Great Britain & Ireland it was hard for The Girls to disguise their delight. Captain Emma-Jayne, who had flown in from Canada for the event, commented: "We did it, we nailed it – we got the job done. It's a team effort."
Hayley, who was riding in her ninth Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, was delighted to be finally lifting the trophy. "It's just brilliant. I keep saying it but Cathy (Gannon) is at home watching and she has worked really hard to get on the team... I've got to hand it to Sammy Jo though – she's done so well today."
Emma-Jayne also wanted to pay tribute to the late Alistair Haggis: "[He] worked tirelessly... and first came up with the idea of having an all-female team. It brings tears to my eyes to see the trophy – he would have wanted this and this is for him."
Sammy Jo did indeed enjoying an unexpected moment in the spotlight: "The season has been going so well, so thanks to the trainers and owners who have put me up and given me chances, and my agent who has done a great job. I feel on top of the world."
She is straight back to reality riding out at Richard Fahey's Musley Bank yard. He said: "She's a very good horsewoman and is a very good worker. Makes no difference to me that she's a girl; if someone works hard and is capable I'm happy. She's a clever girl and deserves all she gets. She's got a good racing brain on her, which you don't find all the time."
Graceful in defeat
Jamie Spencer, who rode a double and captained the Great Britain & Ireland team into second position declared: "The Girls rode well – it is a good platform and Sammy Jo excelled. She was cool on the Appleby horse – I went round her and she didn't panic holding her position."
Kerrin McEvoy, having his first rides in Britain since 2008 as the Rest of the World captain, said: "It has been a fantastic day – we tried our best and it was nice to be part of it. I got a winner so I can't complain and I also had a few others that ran well. Well done to The Girls."
Olivier Peslier, captain of the European team (which won in 2014) remarked: "Not this year. The big thing is that all the people are very happy. A lot of people have come to Ascot today and enjoyed themselves."
Final team scores
- THE GIRLS: 80
- GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND: 67
- REST OF THE WORD: 66
- EUROPE: 27
Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle
THANK YOU @AlyRowell for permission to use the pictures.
- Sammy Jo Bell GIRLS - 35
- Kerrin McEvoy ROW - 30
- Jamie Spencer GBI - 30
- Blake Shinn ROW - 24
- Emma-Jayne Wilson GIRLS - 23
- Hayley Turner GIRLS - 22
- Graham Lee GBI - 20
- Pat Smullen GBI - 17
- Olivier Peslier EUR - 13
- Yutaka Take ROW - 12
- Vincent Cheminaud EUR - 11
- Adrie de Vries EUR - 3