After 3 days of dazzling performances, Great Britain’s showjumpers clinched gold at the PSI FEI European Jumping Championships in Herning, Denmark.
24 years after last being crowned European champions, the British squad of Ben Maher (Cella), Michael Whitaker (Viking), William Funnell (Billy Congo) and Scott Brash (Hello Sanctos) held their nerve in the most intense of final competitions to beat the mighty Germans and Swedes to stand top of the podium amid scenes of extreme jubilation.
“We’ve tried so hard to do well in championships and the Germans for so long have been fantastic at it, so we really wanted to break their record — and today we did,” said Britain’s performance manager Rob Hoekstra, who also led the British team to victory in the 2012 Olympics in London.
Michael Whitaker, who was on that gold medal-winning team in Rotterdam in 1989, added: “I thought we’d get a medal as all our horses have been in fantastic form. I wasn’t expecting gold, though.”
The individual championship concludes on Saturday and a 3rd clear round from Ben Maher means the Brit still stands top of the leader board. Roger Yves Bost (FRA) is currently lying in the silver medal position with Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE) moving up to bronze after the Olympic champion Steve Guerdat (Nino Des Buissonnets) dropped down with a foot in the water.
Don’t miss the full report and enjoy the full glory of Great Britain’s gold medal-winning performance in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound (out 29 August).
PSI FEI European Jumping Championships team result
Gold: Great Britain 12.18
Silver: Germany 12.77
Bronze: Sweden 13.44
9th: Ireland 42.42