The final day of the European Championships was another day of excellent British results. In the sweltering heat we amassed three more medals, taking our championship total to seven!
Two of those medals were with para-equestrian dressage riders – Sophie achieved another silver after an excellent performance in her Freestyle test, while our championship debutant Georgia won an incredible gold. With this being the first gold medal that a member of Team GBR has won during this championships, we were all excited to see the special Longine watch that all the gold medallists are given, and it didn't disappoint – beautiful!
The other medal went to fabulous Ben Maher and Explosion W. They were so consistent all through the championships, with three spectacular clear rounds. They were the last combination to head into the arena to jump because they were in the lead with the gold medal firmly in their sights. Alas, the penultimate fence took the slightest rub and unfortunately fell, to the shock of the entire arena. With this, Ben had to settle for the silver medal slot. Many may think he should be pleased with this, but I have to say that when you have total belief that you are going to leave all the fences up and win, the feeling of disappointment when you don't can be significant.
Holly Smith should also have a mention because while she and Hearts Destiny didn't win a medal, they improved day-on-day to finish the final day in tenth place. This combination are certainly for the future and we're so proud of how Holly has brought the horse on in just a couple of years, turning him from being a working hunter into a top international showjumper.
So now we head to the airport, shattered, sunburned and with sore feet, but relieved that it has been an excellent championships and all horses and riders are fit and healthy, ready to perform another day at the top of the sport. The highest 'step count' for me during the event was 31,945 in a day, which equated to about 22km. This means I walked an average of 17,500 per day over 12 days when you include my trip to the Ready Steady Tokyo test event, which is about 210,000 in total and close to 150km. No wonder my feet ache!
Next stop, Luhmühlen...