It was another action packed day in the GBR camp, as all three vaulters contested their final events and the last GBR representative in the driving, took to the La Prairie arena for her test.
In an action-packed day for Britain’s vaulters, Joanne Eccles produced a gold medal winning performance in the final freestyle round to take the Individual female gold medal at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, having already won a bronze medal earlier in the day with sister Hannah, in the Pas de Deux competition.
Today’s medals round off an amazing championships for Britain’s vaulters, as they not only post their highest ever medal tally at a World Equestrian Games, but also had all three British female vaulters in the second (and final) round of the individual competition.
In the lead heading into today’s final freestyle round, Joanne (aboard WH Bentley and lunged by father John Eccles) produced yet another stunning routine to the sounds of Les Miserables, showcasing some of her - now signature moves, including her one-handed cartwheel and handstand. With a score of 9,119 awarded for her freestyle, and an overall score of 8,718, Joanne clinched the gold medal – and with it retained the title she first won in Lexington in 2010.
Lucy Phillips with Pitucelli, lunged by her mother Liz Phillips, produced a great freestyle performance earlier in the class, to be rewarded with a high freestyle score of 8,109, which gave them an overall score of 7,730 for eleventh place.
Hannah Eccles followed Lucy’s test, and with WH Bentley, lunged by her father John Eccles, the duo showcased some lovely vaulting to produce a freestyle score of 8,050, for a total score for the competition of 7,818 and ninth place overall.
Earlier in the day saw the Pas de Deux competition reach its climax, as Great Britain’s Hannah and Joanne Eccles, aboard WH Bentley lunged again by their father John, competed in the second and final round of the competition, which made its debut at this year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Vaulting to a unique Fire and Ice theme, inspired by (and using extracts of) Joanne’s favourite poem, Fire and Ice by Robert Frost, the sisters put in a stunning performance to be rewarded with an equally superb overall mark after the two freestyle rounds of 8,575 to take the bronze medal.
Chef d’Equipe for the Great Britain vaulting team, Lucy Bell commented; “It’s the first time we’ve had three females into the final, let alone to finish with all three girls in the top eleven. They were all really consistent over all four rounds, which they knew they’d have to be, and have done Personal Bests in some of those rounds. It’s been a great Championships and I’m so pleased for all of them.”
The final carriage driver of the GBR team, Georgina Hunt, took to the La Prairie Racecourse dressage arena today for her driven dressage test this afternoon and produced a lovely test with her team for an overnight score of 55.04.
“I’m quite pleased,” commented Georgina after her test, “we did as well as we could. There was a little bit of bickering with one of the leaders, but overall I think it was very professional; bits of the test were beautiful but just a few little mistakes.”
Commenting on tomorrow’s marathon; “I think it’s a very fair course, very even for all horses. This will be the first time we’ve driven such even, well prepared obstacles, so there’ll be no excuses. It’ll be a very genuine test of the driver – it asks lots of questions in a very horse-friendly way.”
Tomorrow sees the marathon phase take place, with all three British drivers in action across the Normandy terrain.