Great Britain seal double gold and Olympic qualification at World Championships

17th Sep 2018

  • Great Britain secure eventing Team Gold, posting the lowest team score in world championship history
  • Individual Gold medal for Ros Canter and Allstar B
  • Qualification secured for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
  • Four British athletes in the top 20

The final showjumping phase – which had be postponed by a day due to heavy rainfall on Sunday – caused problems throughout the field and made for an exciting climax to the eventing competition at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. Rosalind Canter entered the arena as the final rider for GBR with Great Britain in the gold medal position, and individually sitting in silver, on her own and Caroline Moore’s Allstar B. A text-book clear round from the Lincolnshire rider not only secured Great Britain as World Champions, but also confirmed an individual medal for Ros, and team Olympic qualification for Great Britain at Tokyo 2020.

Individually, the overnight leader, Ingrid Klimke, had no room for error on SAP Hale Bob OLD and as they approached the final fence it looked like the individual gold was going to Germany, but the crowds’ cheers turned to gasps as a pole on the final fence fell and the individual title went to Ros.

A delighted Ros said; “I don't think it's sunk in. I can’t believe it; Allstar B was absolutely amazing, he was an absolute hero, I had an amazing experience in there. I kept saying [to myself] just let him do his job, and I’m so proud, he’s just phenomenal. There were quite a few tears when I found out which isn't normal for me.

“It’s just incredible for both for me and the whole support team behind Team GBR – it’s just the most incredible feeling. The team around us is just phenomenal. They make the dream come true really.”

In the team competition, Great Britain headed into today’s showjumping with an 8.2 penalty advantage – or just two fences - over Ireland, and, after two clear rounds from Ireland’s team riders, the pressure mounted on the final three GBR combinations. After their incredible pathfinding cross country on Saturday, West Sussex’s Gemma Tattersall got Britain underway in the showjumping phase, picking up 12 faults on The Soul Syndicate’s Arctic Soul.

Commenting afterwards; “I’m gutted but I’m looking forward to watching my team mates and hopefully they’ll jump some clear rounds. They’re [the rest of the team] sat on some of the best jumping horses in the world and hopefully they’ll do a good job.  He’s [Arctic Soul] an amazing horse but he just got a bit strong and keen today after the day off. He doesn’t owe me anything; he’s jumped a lot of clear rounds.”

Tom McEwen, who is based at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire, was next in for the team and took an unlucky four faults from an otherwise impressive round on his own, Jane Inns and Alison McEwen’s Toledo de Kerser. Their completion score of 32.4 penalties meant that the gap between the team gold and silver had closed to just four faults with two team riders left to show jump.

Tom said; "We wanted to come here and jump clear rounds; it’s been unbelievable, I’m delighted with the horse, he’s [Toldeo de Kerser] felt good this weekend.

“We’ve had a great team support here around the team, and I’ve been really lucky to learn off the guys who have been to a Championships before.

The penultimate rider for GB, Northamptonshire’s Piggy French, also picked up four faults on Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo in the final showjumping combination on course, which reduced GBR’s advantage to just 0.2 of a penalty. Ireland’s final team rider, Sarah Ennis, headed into the final phase in individual bronze but an early fence down on Horseware Stellor Rebound dropped them out of the individual medals and also increased the penalty gap between team silver and gold back to four. After Ros’ brilliant clear round the team gold was secured for Great Britain with a score of 88.8, Ireland took team silver on 93 and France bronze with a score of 99.8.

Speaking after her round; “I had a very different horse in there, more than I’ve had ever had before; he felt very good outside, he spooked quite badly at the water tray going into fence three and that just kind of set the tone for my round. They’re all very good jumpers, but when they do something different to what they normally do you just have to react.”

Great Britain’s individual combination, West Sussex’s Tina Cook and Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy the Red, rounded off their championships with a clear round which pulled them up to finish in ninth place individually, and second best of the British riders behind Ros on a score of 31.5 penalties.

"He’s [Billy The Red] a world class horse," said Tina. "The way he’s performed today is a good step on the way to the Europeans next year and hopefully for Tokyo [Olympic Games] in 2020. It’s so competitive in Britain at the moment; you’ve got to be on your ‘A Game’ the whole time.”

Richard Waygood MBE, Performance Manager for Eventing, said; “It’s been an amazing day in the office, really great team work. They all pulled together, they all went in there for the team and stuck to the system. It was close at the end, but even before Ros jumped the last fence I knew she had it.  Our primary objective coming here was qualifying for Tokyo [Olympic Games] and our next objective was to win as many medals as possible, and we’ve achieved both goals.”

Equestrian Team GBR is supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme; the British teams are very grateful to the support they receive from the British Equestrian Federation Fund and official partners Dodson and Horrell, Equi-Trek, FALPRO England, Musto, NAF and Point Two.