The British Nations Cup eventing team of Tina Cook (Miners Frolic), Gemma Tattersall (Chico Bella P), Izzy Taylor (KBIS Briarlands Matilda) and Tom McEwen (Dry Old Party) bagged second place behind the host nation Germany in Aachen.
Britain was second overnight after solid performances in the dressage and healthy result over Frank Rothenberger’s showjumping course in the huge main arena last night.
The cross-country, run last of the three phases, took a number of scalps in the wet and slippery conditions. The most influential fence was the first water complex: a brush in the water followed by two strides to either a narrow left or right corner. Many horses glanced off here, including KBIS Briarlands Matilda and Andrew Nicholson‘s ride, Quimbo.
The Germans finished on 134.6pen ahead of Britain on 182.6pen, with Sweden in third (219pen).
Hans Melzer, German team co-trainer (alongside Chris Bartle), said: “Aachen is an absolute must for the eventers, which is why we brought our best team. It couldn’t have been a tighter finish, with a smaller margin than we might have expected to the British.”
Aachen individual eventing competition
Australian Christopher Burton was the individual winner on Holstein Park Leilani, a 17-year-old Holsteiner-thoroughbred chestnut mare.
He was in the lead with just German Sandra Auffarth (Opgun Louvo) to go across country. She had a peach of a round, but her big 11-year-old selle Francais gelding was fractionally over the time, handing victory to Christopher.
“The conditions maybe played onto my hands today, as my mare is fast and goes well in wet conditions,” said Christopher. “The Australians and New Zealanders don’t have a championship to aim for this year, so we all take Aachen especially seriously.
“It wasn’t the best day for the Aussie team [who finished fourth out of seven], but naturally I am thrilled that this was one weekend when everything went right for me.”
Sandra said: “The ground was quite heavy and slippery at the end so I didn’t take any risks. It was unfortunate I was just one second too slow — I’ll come back next year and go one second faster.”
Best of the Brits individually was Aachen first-timer Tina Cook, who rode a super clear cross-country round on Miners Frolic collecting just seven time penalties on the deteriorating ground. She was initially told she was fourth, but Germany’s Michael Jung (La Biosthetique Sam FBW) had his 20pen for a run-out removed on video review, moving him up to third and bumping Tina down to fifth.
- Don’t miss full report from Aachen CHIO in next Thursday’s Horse & Hound magazine (4 July, 2013)