The British team dropped to fifth in the Aachen Nations Cup eventing today (Saturday, 16 July) as a tough cross-country course caused some dramatic leader board changes.

Franky Reid-Warrilow was first out for the Brits, but the cumulative accuracy tests on Rüdiger Schwarz’s track took their toll on her inexperienced mare, Dolley Whisper. She ran out at brush corners at fences 4b and 17c and then again at number 22a. This combination — two acutely angled brushes — proved to be the bogey fence.

The other three team members all competed in the final reverse order section and the effort got of to a good start when Tina Cook brought Calvino II — owned by Pip and Ailsa Waites and Equine Aqua Training — home with just 9.2 time-faults.

“I lost a bit of time because I protected him a bit in the earlier distances and it’s a very fast course to ride round and difficult to make up time,” said Tina, who wound up 12th individually and was delighted with the 11-year-old. “He’s tried his hardest in a competitive Olympic field and held his own, so I’m very pleased with him in all three phases.”

Nicola Wilson was next up and she and One Two Many, owned by Gerry and Mary Kemp and Janine Shewan, showed their experience by coming home just 10 seconds over the time to claim eighth.

“He gave me a super ride — it’s always a fast and furious track to ride with a lot of difficult accuracy questions where it’s easy to have a run-out,” she said. “I’m thrilled with how he went and it’s an honour and a privilege to be on a team again. I’m pleased he’s gone as well as he has after the great disappointment of his spook in the dressage — he’s redeemed himself in the jumping.”

Laura Collett was the last out for the British and a podium place was very much a possibility, but she and Diana Chappell’s Grand Manoeuvre fell foul of fence 22, with a run-out at the second element. She finished 24th and her score still had to count for the team because of Franky’s elimination so the team ended up fifth.

British individual Zara Tindall had a good round with eight time-faults for 22nd with Trevor Hemmings’ High Kingdom.

Jung tops leaderboard

The leader after showjumping, Julia Krajewski, withdrew Samourai Du Thot and Sandra Auffarth also saved Opgun Louvo for the Rio Olympics, so Michael Jung was left at the head of affairs having been second. He put in his customary excellent performance to finish with 5.2 time-penalties and claim first spot — by just 0.4 of a penalty — with his likely Olympic ride, FischerTakinou.

Michael Jung and FischerTakinou at Aachen 2016. Picture by Peter Nixon

Michael Jung and FischerTakinou at Aachen 2016. Picture by Peter Nixon

The Australians stayed at the top in the team contest, led by Shane Rose (second on his Olympic ride CP Qualified) and Chris Burton, fifth on Nobilis 18.

“We know he’s a fast horse and we’re very happy with him,” said Chris, who finished just one second over the optimum time.

Shane said: “This was a good opportunity to show him crowds as we don’t have that in Australia except at Adelaide and I’m very happy with him in all three phases.”

The Germans moved up to second after sitting fourth following last night’s showjumping. Their best team finisher was Ingrid Klimke on SAP Escada JS in fourth, while she was also third on her Rio horse, Horseware Hale Bob OLD. The latter was one of only two horses to make the time, the other being the ex-Paul Tapner horse Indian Mill, ridden by the USA’s Phillip Dutton.

The Irish team put in great performances today to move up to third. They only had three riders, but all jumped clear, with Aoife Clark riding Wasting Light finishing 13th, Elizabeth Power taking 15th on Soladoun and Sarah Ennis claiming 20th with BLM Diamond Delux.

Full report of Aachen in H&H next week, out Thursday, 21 July.