Starting cross-country day in silver medal position didn’t seem to phase the team whatsoever. Pippa was the pathfinder and could not have put in a more foot-perfect round to show that the course was not only jumpable, but also that the time was achievable. Piggy followed suit with an equally textbook round to finish strongly inside the time, putting us in a strong team position.
Piggy gives feedback on the course after her round with Quarrycrest Echo
Tina, on her birthday, was not quite so fortunate, with a shock run-out at the final skinny at the second water – a little out of character for this superb cross-country combination, but it was a leveller that reminded us that Lady Luck can't always be on our side. This was echoed by the other birthday girl, Laura, who was lying in third place after the dressage and had a superb round until the final water combination where she, like a number of others, were caught out by a solid and upright ‘bird’ and took an unplanned bath, resulting in elimination.
Tina and Laura with their birthday cakes back at the lorries
Kitty was next to go on Vendredi Biats and they once again showed strong British resolve to finish with a fantastic round clear, adding just a couple of time penalties to their dressage score. After this, the pressure was on the only male member of the team for this championship and Oliver delivered another perfect round to leave the British team in silver medal position once again overnight.
Kitty King heads out to the warm-up arena on Vendredi Biats
The course was a tough one and designer Mike Etherington-Smith certainly provided a fair share of technical problems for the combinations to face. The horses will need to have a good night's sleep tonight, and come out strong and sound tomorrow morning in order for us to maintain our competitive position, but all are up for the challenge.
Huge well done to all the grooms and support teams who helped care for the horses