Germany secured the showjumping team gold tonight at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, adding nothing to their team score with three clear rounds, while Britain’s riders had mixed fortunes.
Germany had led overnight, and when her first two riders, Janne-Friederike Meyer and Carsten-Otto Nagel, both went clear, they only needed either Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum or Marcus Ehning to be fault-free for victory. Meredith, in the third rider slot, secured the winning round on Checkmate.
“It’s a great honour to be the third member and be able to secure the gold without our last rider going and I’m very proud,” she said. “I’m pleased to have done it on Checkmate as he’s always been in Shutterfly’s shadow.”
After his two clears earlier in the week, Britain’s Robert Smith suffered the disappointment of two rails down on Talan, but he has made it through to the next round of the individual contest as he is 29th and the top 30 go through.
The next Brit into the Rolex Stadium, David McPherson, had fence four down, and then the first part of the tricky treble at five. With the young Chamberlain Z clearly wrong-footed, he pulled him out of the third element and when he also had the triple bar at seven down he retired — although the scoreboard showed him as eliminated, he didn’t look to have presented at fence eight.
Third Brit Scott Brash just had the last part of the treble down on Intertoy Z: “The combination’s a bit tight for him and I sat up a bit early, I just needed a bit more leg on coming off the ground. But the horse was brilliant and he’s come on a lot this week.”
Michael Whitaker rounded things off in fine style with just one time-fault on GIG Amai.
“He’s learnt every time he’s gone in and he tried very hard in there; he was perfect,” aid Michael. “This week’s brought my horse on no end and all in all the team’s done as well as we expected.”
Michael thought he had done enough to make the cut for the individual qualifier, but has just missed out in 33rd.
The Americans had a disastrous night after going into the evening in bronze position and ended up 10th, with Britain ahead of them in ninth.
Meanwhile France and Belgium climbed up through the order from fifth and eighth overnight to take the team silver and bronze medals.
The next round of the individual showjumping contest takes place on Friday night, when the top 30 riders fight for a place in Saturday night’s final, where the four leading riders swap horses and all jump a round on each other’s mounts.
Full report on the showjumping from WEG in H&H out 14 October, more updates on the individual contest online later in the week.