A jubilant British team was celebrating after jumping three superb clear rounds in the final phase to hold onto their overnight lead and clinch the longed-for team title at the FEI European Eventing Championships in Strzegom, Poland at the weekend.
Ingrid Klimke, who has been such a key member of the German team for 17 years, also delivered a jumping perfect round under pressure on Horseware Hale Bob to win her first individual title and lead Germany to team silver.
Triple European champion Michael Jung’s winning run finally ended and the German sportingly settled for individual silver with a clear round on fischerRocana.
“You just have to keep going and after 20 years it will happen! I always want to be a team player, but this was my dream,” Klimke said afterwards.
Sweden held onto team bronze, but Sara Algotsson Ostholt had a less than happy jumping round on Reality 39 and dropped from third to ninth.
Britain’s Nicola Wilson went clear on Bulana to take bronze, her first individual medal, while Cook and Canter lined up behind her in fourth and fifth. Oliver Townend, who was the discard score, did not present Cooley SRS at the final horse inspection because of a minor injury.
Wilson was thrilled with her result. “I think I’m still pinching myself. I’m delighted with how Bulana has been this season and she’s been a superstar all week,” Wilson said. “She’s such a special horse and has just been fantastic this championships.”
An equally delighted Cook said: “We were really wanting that gold, it’s been a few years and it’s amazing to be back in this position. It’s been such a strong team performance all week and has just been fantastic. I’m so pleased with Billy The Red, he is such an exciting horse for the future.”
It was Ros Canter’s championship debut, and she said it was exciting to be part of the team. “To be surrounded by this team and the whole of the GB team has just been fantastic. I don’t think it’s still really sunk in yet. It’s so exciting to be part of this team, with all their experience around me and it’s so special for us all. The excitement of it all is just amazing,” she said.
Ten teams and 56 riders completed the competition, although there was disappointment when host nation Poland’s best rider, Pawel Spisak, was denied a fairy-tale finish after Banderas did not pass the final horse inspection.
Ireland jumped into fifth place, with Sarah Ennis finishing in seventh behind Germany’s Kai Ruder (Colani Sunrise) after a superb clear cross-country round. Ennis and Stellor Rebound lowered just a single rail in the final jumping phase to leave them on a score of 43.40. Irish team manager Sally Corscadden said the whole team pulled together and all were rooting for Ennis. “She rode a great round today to hold onto seventh place. Trish Ryan also had a great result to finish 22nd individually quite a while since her last championships.”
Final team results
1 Great Britain 113.9
2 Germany 123.0
3 Sweden 128.5
Final individual results
1 Ingrid Klimke/Horseware Hale Bob (GER) 30.3 + 0 + 0 = 30.3
2 Michael Jung/fischerRocana FST (GER) 32.8 + 0 + 0 = 32.8
3 Nicola Wilson/Bulana (GBR) 35.1 + 0.4 + 0 = 35.5