The Brits were crowned young rider European champions at Blair Castle, after salvaging their moderate dressage performance with outstanding jumping displays. British riders Nicola Wilson and Emily Galbraith also landed individual silver and bronze.
The team — Emily Galbraith (Crown Alliance), Danni Cuomo (Ballin Willow), Charlotte Agnew (Little Beau) and Georgie Spence (Cottage Craft Spirals) — moved up from seventh after dressage to gold medal position after cross-country, and retained this advantage show jumping.
They proved to be in a different league from their continental counterparts over Blairs hilly terrain, and didnt incur a single penalty. The individual riders fared almost as well, producing seven out of the 15 clears inside the time.
The show jumping track also proved to be influential, with the final planks being especially expensive. The British team lowered just one fence between them, and ran away with the gold medal — finishing nearly 50pen clear of Switzerland. Germany finished third.
In the individual competition, the Dutchman Huub van der Mark was trifle unlucky as he held the lead on Saturday night, but had to withdraw before show jumping. This allowed the German individual Sabrina Mertens to capitalise. She produced one of the rare show jumping clears to end on her dressage score. Nicola Wilson rapped the very last jump on Oingy Boingy to take silver, while Emily Galbraiths clear round moved her up to bronze.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s full report, including fantastic photographs, in next week’s Horse & Hound, on sale 30 August.