The Brits held their own at Saumur CDI (29 April–2 May), with team stalwarts proving able and newcomers showing potential.
H&H columnist Richard Davison rode the Countess of Derby’s 11-year-old Florestan gelding Hiscox Artemis to grand prix freestyle victory having finished third in the grand prix.
The pair scored 75.15% in the music, despite two false starts on account of a hailstorm and then a problem with the music not playing.
Of his first restart Richard said: “Suddenly all this shouting started and people were running for cover.
“I’m happy with Artemis, he coped so well with all the disruption and I’m glad he got to raise the flag for Great Britain on the final day.”
Henriette Andersen — fifth in the grand prix — finished second in the freestyle (71.25%) with Paula Potter’s 13-year-old gelding Louis D’Or.
Amy Stovold impressed on her senior international debut to take 10th place in the grand prix and fourth in the freestyle (70.65%) riding her 17hh chestnut gelding MacBrian.
The British team of Fiona Bigwood, Judy Harvey (Fitzceraldo) and newcomers Anna Ross-Davies with Pegasus MK and Gemma Green on Showtime, finished third in the CDIO (nations cup), thanks to a top ride from Fiona.
She rode Wie Atlantico, her 11-year-old gelding by Wie Weltmeyer, to second place in the grand prix special (71.17%) and third in the freestyle (72.55%).
Fiona said: “We’ve been working hard all winter and I was hoping to do well, but you can never be sure. I feel as though we’ve turned a corner, it was a great show and we all left with smiles on our faces.
“It was nice for the team to take bronze; there were some competitive teams out there so I’m delighted.”
Richard Waygood began his role as senior chef d’equipe — he will work alongside team captain Richard Davison in preparation for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this September.
In the pony international, 16-year-old Claire Gallimore from St Albans, Hertfordshire, shone with the 14.1hh chestnut gelding Gigolo.
They beat 39 riders to finish second in the team test with an impressive 74.22% and were third in the individual test (73.26%) and fifth in the freestyle (74.50%).