Tina Cook (pictured) secured the individual gold medal in the show jumping at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships in Fontainebleau, France, this afternoon. She led the Brits to team gold, while individual British rider Piggy French claimed the silver medal just behind her.
By the time overnight leader Tina entered the arena she had 8.6pen in hand. But she and Miners Frolic had the first part of the treble at fence 10 down and with the optimum time being a challenge, the result began to look dangerously close. She was four seconds over the 92sec limit to add four time-penalties, and beat her compatriot by just 0.6pen.
“I didn’t realise the time would be such an issue,” she said afterwards. “I was thinking about jumping the fences and got a case of the ‘go-slows’. I’ve won individual bronze and silver before, but gold is incredibly special and to be champion of Europe is brilliant.”
Listen to Tina Cook’s interview
British individual Piggy French — originally named as a reserve for the squad — jumped one of only two clear rounds in the show jumping phase to rise from fourth overnight and claim the individual silver on Some Day Soon, who she only started competing this year. This was a stunning senior championship debut for the 29-year-old.
Listen to Piggy French’s interview
The British team won the gold medal for the eighth successive time at European level, beating the Italians — who were going one better than their team bronze in Pratoni two years ago — by 92.7pen. Karin Donckers was overjoyed to secure the team bronze for Belgium, their first European medal since team bronze in Punchestown 2003.
Michael Jung took the individual bronze for Germany on his Luhmühlen winner La Biosthetique-Sam FBW. He had one fence down today, as did Britain’s William Fox-Pitt, who was fourth individually on Idalgo.
Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz had two down to provide Britain’s third counting team score and take ninth place, while individual Lucy Wiegersma (Woodfalls Inigo Jones) was also in the prize-money in 13th with two rails off and two time-faults.
INDIVIDUAL FINAL RESULTS
1. Tina Cook on Miners Frolic (GB) 46.7
2. Piggy French on Some Day Soon (GB) 47.3
3. Michael Jung on La Biosthetique-Sam FBW (GER) 49
4. William Fox-Pitt on Idalgo (GB) 49.1
5. Didier Dhennon on Ismene Du Temple (FRA) 58.6
6. Karin Donckers on Gazelle De La Brasserie (BEL) 58.7
OTHER BRITISH PLACINGS
9. Nicola Wilson on Opposition Buzz (GB) 64.7
13. Lucy Wiegersma on Woodfalls Inigo Jones (GB) 70.2
TEAM FINAL RESULTS
1. Great Britain 160.5
2. Italy 253.2
3. Belgium 317.6
Don’t miss H&H next Thursday (1 October) for our full eight-page special report, including Tina Cook’s column.