Britain came into the first leg of the Top League Nations Cup as one of the favourites, but could only finish equal fifth of the eight teams in La Baule, France.
The competition was won by Belgium after a tense jump-off with the Netherlands.
Sweden impressed for third on a team total of five, with all four riders jumping clear in round two, while Germany took fourth place on six.
Great Britain, Ireland and Switzerland all tied for fifth on 12 faults while France – who decided to field their “B” team after an equine virus outbreak in Normandy – trailed in eighth.
The most exciting performance came from Nick Skelton, who rode one of seven double clears in the competition with Big Star. Peter Charles scored 0 + 4 on Murka’s Vindicat W, Ben Maher and Tripple X III came home with 4 + 4, while Guy Williams (Depardieu Van’t Kiezelhof) finished on 4 + 8.
There was better news in the pony Nations Cup in Moorsele, Belgium, where the British team of Beth Adams (Some Like It Hot), Darby Ward (Maradonna), Alex Chitty (Amelie JR Z) and Emily Ward (Dafina K) landed a tremendous victory. The
Don’t miss full reports in next week’s Horse & Hound (out Thursday 17 May)