The British event team is lying in third place at the 2017 European Championships in Strzegom, following day two of the dressage.
Defending champions Germany are way out front with a record score of 87.7 and three of their team riders in the top three. Their score gives them an incredible 24.1 penalty lead over France in second place, with Britain just 0.1 penalties behind them, in bronze medal position.
Gemma Tattersall, who is riding as an individual, is the highest placed Brit in fourth place. She rode a fantastic test on Quicklook to produce a personal best of 33.1pen.
“I’m just so proud of her, my aim was to get a personal best and that’s what we’ve done and I’m so very, very proud,” said Gemma.
“Team GB wanted me to ride as an individual so I could fight for myself and get a medal, which is my dream. It’s incredible pressure, but I’ll be trying my absolute best.”
Nicola Wilson and Tina Cook also scored personal bests. Nicola is seventh with Bulana (35.1), while Tina and Billy The Red are 12th (38.2). Team mates Ros Canter and All Star B are 15th (38.6), and Oliver Townend and Cooley SRS are 26th (43.8).
Piggy French, who is also riding as an individual on Quarrycrest Echo, is 37th on 46.2.
The Irish Eventing team are in seventh place with a combined score of 135.20 penalties. Sarah Ennis is the highest placed team member in 14th place with Horseware Stellor Rebound (38.60).
Germany’s Bettina Hoy is the current leader on Seigneur Medicott and the only rider to break the 30 barrier, with an impressive score of 24.6. Team mate Ingrid Klimke is second on Horseware Hale Bob (30.3) and defending champion Michael Jung is third with FischerRocana FST (32.8).
“It’s an unbelievable start for the team, but tomorrow is a strong day and we’ll have to concentrate,” said Michael. “You’ve got to focus on yourself and not worry too much what’s happening to other people because it’ll be a long day.”
Cross-country starts tomorrow at 11am. Although the Germans have a strong lead, riders predict Rüdiger Schwarz’s track will be influential, with a tight time and a number of accuracy questions that will demand full focus from both horse and rider.
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.
H&C coverage of the European Championships is sponsored by Amerigo.