- Rosalind Canter, Tina Cook, Oliver Townend and Nicola Wilson are crowned European Team champions
- Nicola Wilson and Bulana take the Individual European bronze medal
- Four British riders finish in the top eight
The final day of the eventing European Championships saw Great Britain crowned European team gold medallists. As the team gold was confirmed for Rosalind Canter, Tina Cook, Oliver Townend and Nicola Wilson, there was further delight for Nicola who also took an individual bronze with Bulana.
With two fences in hand heading into the final phase of the competition, it was Ros Canter with Caroline Moore and her own Allstar B who was first into the arena and delivered a stunning clear round inside the time to set the pace for the British team. Tina Cook aboard Billy The Red, owned by Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson, were next up and recorded another superb clear round.
Final rider in for the team, Nicola Wilson with James and Jo Lambert’s Bulana, delivered yet another stunning round for GB, finishing clear inside the time to secure the European team title.
“I think I’m still pinching myself. I’m delighted with how Bulana has been this season and she’s been a superstar all week,” said Nicola, “She’s such a special horse and has just been fantastic this championships. I just can’t thank everyone enough, and I’m so pleased for her owners James and Jo Lambert. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have her, she’s a great friend.”
An equally delighted Tina commented: “We were really wanting that gold, it’s been a few years and it’s amazing to be back in this position. It’s been such a strong team performance all week and has just been fantastic. I’m so pleased with Billy The Red, he is such an exciting horse for the future.”
Championship debutant Ros added: “To be surrounded by this team and the whole of the GB team has just been fantastic. I don’t think it’s still really sunk in yet. It’s so exciting to be part of this team, with all their experience around me and it’s so special for us all. The excitement of it all is just amazing.”
Gemma Tattersall with The Pebbles Syndicate’s Quicklook V produced a lovely round and was unlucky to have two fences, to collect eight jumping faults, to finish eighth overall.
Gemma said afterwards; “It’s obviously not what I was hoping for. I was really pleased with how she jumped in there, I don’t know what happened at those fences but I’m very happy with her and for the British team.”
Piggy French with Quarrycrest Echo, owned by Jayne McGivern, produced a lovely round in the jumping, and was unlucky to just have one fence down to pick up four faults to see her onto a total final score of 87.4 penalties.
“It’s been a ‘nearly’ but ‘not quite’ week,” commented Piggy, “In the dressage I was a bit disappointed and then the cross-country was very frustrating as he had been fantastic. Today he just rolled a pole in the jumping but was super everywhere else. He’s really stepped up this week – he’s definitely had his biggest year yet and he’s a very exciting horse; there’s lots to look forward to.”
Unfortunately, due to a minor injury, Cooley SRS, ridden by team member Oliver Townend and owned by Angela Hislop, was not presented at this morning’s horse inspection, and therefore did not come forward to contest the final showjumping round. After the team medals had been awarded Oliver commented; “The whole week has had such a positive feel about it and it’s been a real team effort.”
Performance Manager Richard Waygood says: “We had a fantastic culture and team environment from beginning to end. Sometimes it’s not the winning, it’s the way that you win, and we won with precision and style.
“Everybody rode with great belief and Oliver took the ultimate sacrifice of going first [cross country] and his feedback was invaluable; he set the tone by having two blips but never gave up to the finish line and amazingly only incurred two time penalties. This was then replicated with the same fighting spirit through the rest of the team and our two individual riders’ performances in both the cross-country and jumping. We are delighted, but this is the first stepping stone towards our ultimate dream.”
With Great Britain taking the team gold on 113.9 penalties, Germany took the silver on 123, with Sweden the bronze with 148.4 penalties. Individually, in was gold for Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and silver for Michael Jung, with Great Britain’s Nicola Wilson securing the bronze.
Final GB rider placings: 3rd Nicola Wilson and Bulana | 4th Tina Cook and Billy The Red | 5th Ros Canter and Allstar B | 8th Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V | 28th Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo
The British senior teams are supported by the BEF’s UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme.