The culmination of the 2013 HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships saw an incredibly tense showjumping finale, with a dramatic shift on the leader-board, resulting in German medal domination.
In the team competition, it was Germany who took the gold, whilst the host nation Sweden, took silver and France the bronze. The Italian team put in impressive final day performances to finish in fourth place whilst Britain finished in a very close sixth place after Belgium in the final team standings.
The Individual competition culminated in a nail-bitingly tense finish, as Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt produced a very smooth round on the striking chestnut stallion Chilli Morning but sadly lowered one rail to drop from Individual Silver to Bronze position, finishing on a score of 40.6.
Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and FRH Escada JS jumped clear to take silver with 39.4 penalties, whilst the current World and Olympic champion Michael Jung took his second successive individual European gold, this time with Halunke FBW who rolled a rail but finished with a considerable lead ahead of his team mate on 32.6.
Pippa Funnell and Mrs Carol Toliver’s Mirage D’Elle were first out for the Brits today and stepped up the leader board from 43rd place to finish 40th after a good round, with a single pole and time penalty.
Senior squad debutants Izzy Taylor and Mr Guy Avis’s KBIS Briarlands Matilda were next into the arena, and jumped an impressive round under pressure but dropped down the placings to finish in 35th place, after they had a pole down and a single time penalty.
Olympic pairing Tina Cook and Miners Frolic, owned by Mr and Mrs Nicholas Embiricos and Mrs Sarah Pelham, as ever showed their fantastic partnership to jump a solid round but lowered a single pole to finish in a very credible 13th place overall.
William said of his double Bramham CCI3* champion and European ride Chilli Morning, who is owned by Chris and Lisa Stone and is by the stallion Phanotomic: “I came here with the expectation of winning an individual medal. If Chilli was on good form, I knew he could, and if he wasn't, then he wasn't.
"He certainly met my expectations. I am delighted with him; he has come here and won me a medal. We came here with hopes to win a team medal, and naturally we are disappointed. We've been very fortunate to be part of strong teams for so long when things have gone right”.
Yogi Breisner, Eventing Chef d’Equipe said after William’s round: “I’m absolutely delighted for William and Chilli Morning and Mr & Mrs Stone [Chilli Morning’s owners], who are great supporters of the sport. It’s very nice for them to be rewarded with a bronze medal and I think he’s a very bright horse for the future”.
Will Connell, Equestrian Performance Director commented: “It’s very sad when a run comes to an end; it’s been 23 years since we’ve not medalled, but we know we’ve got to come back stronger next year.
"Across all the disciplines I believe we have the right people in the right places and we will continue to work hard with everyone involved.”
The British equestrian teams are supported by the UK Sport Lottery funded World Class Programme.
Top ten nation standings
1st: Germany, 116.2 points
2nd: Sweden, 134.0
3rd: France, 151.6
4th: Italy, 167.0
5th: Belgium, 179.2
6th: Britain, 180.6
7th: Ireland, 234.4
8th: Switzerland, 267.6
9th: Netherlands, 1,120.0
10th: Belarus, 2,106.6