In a highly controversial evening in Athens the German eventing squad won their first eventing team gold medal for 16 years, only to have an additional 12 time penalties awarded to their leading rider Bettina Hoy which dropped them out of the medals, before being reinstated as gold medal winners in a most bizarre turn of events.
The celebrations in the German camp in Athens began after Bettina’s first round which initially appeared faultless. However their euphoria was destroyed 15 minutes later when the ground jury launched an investigation into Bettina Hoy’s show jumping time.
After the ground jury had looked at videos of Bettina’s round they awarded her 12 time penalties for crossing the start line twice. At this stage the France squad believed they had won their first ever eventing team gold medal, with Britain claiming our second silver in four years. However, the German team appealed against the decision and were ultimately reinstated to their original position.
Britain, who secured the bronze thanks to clear rounds from Pippa Funnell and Leslie Law, as well as an eight-fault round from Mary King and King Solomon III, were left ruing the fact that William Fox-Pitt had been forced to withdraw Tamarillo due to a leg injury incurred on the cross-country. If William had been able to complete the final phase they would have run away with the gold.
Final team results
1. Germany 133.80;
2. France 140.40;
3. Britain 143.00;
4. USA 145.60;
5. New Zealand 176.20;
6. Australia 185.80.