Tina Cook did Britain proud on the second day of eventing dressage at the London Olympics, scoring 42 on Miners Frolic in a thunderstorm and torrential rain.
Despite difficult conditions, she and ‘Henry’ kept their cool to produce an elegant test.
“I’m used to riding him in the rain. I don’t have an arena at home and I’ve ridden in some very wet days on the South Downs,” said Tina. “The horse is used to the wind and the rain coming across — that side of it he was great with — but with the noises as the judges’ roof blew up and down when he was doing his extended trot, I really hoped that he wasn’t going to spook.
“The crowd, bless them, were getting wet and were all muttering and chattering, but I’m just really pleased and proud of the horse that he kept a lid on it and kept really focussed and tried his best.
“We would have loved to have the sun shining down on us, but that’s England for you!”
She sits in eighth position with 14 riders to go.
Zara Phillips was third to go this morning, and collected 46.1 with High Kingdom for equal 16th place.
Zara said: “I’m lucky he doesn’t really get too wound up by the atmosphere; it actually lifted him a bit.
“I’m pleased; it was a big test for him. It was disappointing about that one [flying] change as his are usually good, but that was only inexperience. He’s getting stronger all the time.”
With just William Fox-Pitt to go this afternoon, the Brits are in fourth place — but are less than two marks off the Australians in silver. The Germans lead comfortably, but Sara Algotsson Ostholt‘s mark of 39.3 — equal first with Germany’s Ingrid Klimke — has pushed the Swedish team into bronze.
Sara picked up every possible mark on the homebred Wega with an accurate, correct test, and said: “She was very tense in the trot, but after the walk she relaxed and the canter work was very good.”
Australia’s Lucinda Fredericks piloted Flying Finish into fourth place with a mark of 40, just 0.2pen behind German Dirk Schrade.
She shares fourth with Sandra Auffarth, whose Opgun Louvo was a little spooky in the wind but who gives Germany three scores in the top five.
Don’t miss H&H’s full report of the Olympic eventing, in the issue on sale FRIDAY 3 August – 23-page special report, with comments from Ruth Edge, Pippa Funnell and Mark Phillips, pictures of every cross-country fence, stunning photos and full analysis.