Britain wins gold and bronze at European Championships

team GB European Championships
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Britain has won team gold and individual bronze in the eventing at the FEI European Championships in Strzegom, after producing three fault-free showjumping rounds.

Influential cross-country

Britain was in bronze medal position after the dressage, but the cross-country proved very influential.

Germany slipped behind Britain when Julia Krajewski (Samourai du Thot) picked up 20 penalties and dressage leader Bettina Hoy (Seigneur Medicott) ran out at the influential double of angled brushes at fence 4, and was then eliminated after falling at the 10th.

Things didn’t get off to a great start for Team GB when pathfinder Oliver Townend had two run-outs with Cooley SRS. However, Nicola Wilson (Bulana), Tina Cook (Billy The Red) and Ros Canter (Allstar B) all went on to jump clear.

Strong performance

The team had two fences in hand going into the showjumping, and when Oliver withdrew his horse due to a minor injury, the pressure was on the remaining three. However, they all kept cool heads to jump clear.

“We were really wanting that gold, it’s been a few years and it’s fantastic to be back in this position,” said Tina. “It’s been such a strong team performance all week and has just been fantastic.”

Germany won silver and Sweden took team bronze. Ireland were out of the team running following a fall for Austin O’Connor (Kilpatrick Knight) and run-outs for Michael Ryan (Dunlough Striker) and Joseph Murphy (Sportsfield Othello).

‘Pinching myself’

Nicola went into the final phase in individual fourth place, but when Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Ostholt had three down she moved up to take bronze, which is her first individual medal. Tina and Ros were fourth and fifth.

“I think I’m still pinching myself,” said Nicola. “I’m delighted with how Bulana has been this season and she’s been a superstar all week. She’s such a special horse and has just been fantastic this championships.

“I just can’t thank everyone enough, and I’m so pleased for her owners James and Jo Lambert. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have her, she’s a great friend.”

Dream come true

Germany’s Ingrid Klimke (Horseware Hale Bob) and Michael Jung (fischerRocana FST) both produced clear rounds to take the gold and silver medal respectively.

Ingrid has been a key member of the German team for 17 years, but this was her first European gold.

“You just have to keep going and after 20 years it will happen!” she said. “I always want to be a team player, but this was my dream.”

Missed a medal

Gemma Tattersall, who was competing for Britain as an individual rider, jumped a great clear in the cross-country, but Quicklook unfortunately had two down in the showjumping. However, even if she had gone clear she still would have just missed out on a medal.

“It’s obviously not what I was hoping for,” said Gemma. “I was really pleased with how she jumped in there, I don’t know what happened at those fences but I’m very happy with her and for the British team.”

You can watch highlights of all the action from Strzegom on H&C. FEI Europeans 2017: Eventing is on 26 August at 9pm on Sky 253, or you can watch online via H&C Play or Amazon Video.

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