Britain has won both team and individual gold in the eventing at the World Equestrian Games – posting the lowest score in World Championship history.
The final showjumping phase – which was postponed due to heavy rainfall on Sunday – caused problems throughout the field and made for an exciting finale.
Team GB had just one fence in hand, which piled on the pressure for Ros Canter, who was the final team rider and also riding for an individual medal.
Allstar B delivered a text-book clear to secure Great Britain as World Champions, and hold onto to Ros’ silver medal position.
The overnight leader, Ingrid Klimke, had no room for error on SAP Hale Bob OLD. 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 fell and the individual title went to Ros.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in. I can’t believe it,” said Ros. “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.”
In the team competition, Great Britain headed into the showjumping with an 8.2pen advantage – or just two fences – over Ireland. But after clear rounds from two of the Irish riders, the pressure mounted on the final three British combinations.
Gemma Tattersall picked up an unfortunate 12 faults on Arctic Soul, while Tom McEwen had one down with Toledo de Kerser. This closed the gap between team gold and silver to just four faults, with two team riders left to jump.
The penultimate rider was Piggy French, who also picked up four faults on Quarrycrest Echo in the final combination. This reduced Team GB’s advantage to just 0.2 of a penalty. However, Ireland’s final team rider, Sarah Ennis, had an early fence down on Horseware Stellor Rebound, which gave Ros a fence in hand.
Not that she needed it, and her clear round put Britain on a winning score of 88.8pen – which has secured qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Ireland took team silver on 93pen and France won bronze with a score of 99.8pen.
Individual rider Tina Cook jumped clear with Billy the Red, to finish in ninth place, and was second best of the British riders behind Ros.
“It’s been an amazing day in the office, really great team work,” said Richard Waygood, performance manager for eventing. “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 and our next objective was to win as many medals as possible, and we’ve achieved both goals.”
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