With everything to play for in the final phase of the opening leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup competition in Fontainebleau (FRA), the British trio of riders took bronze position after a very influential showjumping phase. The competition culminated with the host nation’s Team taking team honours closely followed by the Australian team in second place.
The riders representing Britain in the competition and supported by the National Lottery UK Sport funded World Class Programme were:
- Nick Gauntlett with Crown Talisman owned by Neil Woodford and Madelaine White
- Flora Harris with Amazing owned by Carlone Harris and Sue Nicholls
- Izzy Taylor with KBIS Briarlands Matilda owned by Mr Guy Avis
Individually, the extremely experienced pairing of Oxfordshire rider Izzy Taylor and KBIS Briarlands Matilda finished the highest placed of the Brits in sixth place. Flora Harris from Wiltshire and Amazing showed strong form in their first Nations Cup appearance to finish in 15th place, whilst the very new combination of Nick Gauntlett and Crown Talisman finished in 16th place. This was Gloucestershire-based Nick’s first Nations Cup appearance.
Team manager Philip Surl commented on the dressage performances of the team who were in fourth place in the rankings after dressage; "Izzy and Matilda performed very well in the dressage to finish in fifth place after dressage, whilst Nick and his new ride Crown Talisman had some very promising moments but sadly had a couple of costly mistakes. Flora and her ride Amazing were exceptionally well prepared but sadly had an error of course which cost them marks."
On the cross country phase Philip commented: "The course was marginally softer than last year and all three GB riders pulled out good clears despite the time being very tight". The results of this phase pulled the Brits back up to silver in the team standings.
The show jumping finale saw another track where time was the influential factor: “Nick and Flora unfortunately had a fence down each, despite good overall show jumping performances. Izzy and Matilda jumped a really nice clear but with the time very tight, they sadly incurred four time penalties.”
About the Nations Cup
Now in its fourth year, the FEI Eventing Nations Cup series, which provides great opportunities for riders to gain team experience, continues with CICO3*s in Ireland, Great Britain, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Belgium before the climax at Boekelo (NED) in October.
The Equestrian World Class Programme has been funded through Exchequer and National Lottery funds via UK Sport.
FEI NATIONS CUP EVENTING CALENDAR
24-26 April: Ballindenisk, IRL
28-31 May: Houghton Hall, GBR
25-28 June: Strzegom, POL
11-14 August: Aachen, GER
17-20 September: Montelibretti, ITA
24-27 September: Waregem, BEL
8-11 October: Boekelo, NED