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British individuals give their best at Blenheim

Pippa Funnell, riding as an individual, looked a picture on Ensign. The nine-year-old was far from Funnell’s first choice horse for this competition, given his relative lack of experience, but they came into Sunday’s final phase in silver medal position, and made an extremely good attempt to cope with the demands of a championship show jumping track, dropping just two rails to finish in ninth place overall.

Daisy Dick continued her successful campaign with Spring Along, rising from 20th after the dressage to 11th overall, thanks to a foot-perfect cross country round on Saturday, with just a few time penalties to add in the soggy conditions, and a beautiful performance in the final show jumping phase on Sunday.

At 22, Matthew Wright was one of the youngest competitors in this field, but showed many of his elders how to do it on the flashy Park Pilot. He was disappointed with his dressage, which left them well down the order, but they went clear across country, just one second over the time, and clear on Sunday in the show jumping, finishing in an impressive 13th place on their senior team debut.

Polly Stockton acquitted herself extremely well on Tom Quigley, with a reasonable dressage score and a cross-country performance that pulled her up more than 10 places into 16th, but three rails down left her out of the running.

Herefordshire-based rider James Robinson fared extremely well during the first two phases of these championships, thanks, not least, to a quick and clear cross-country round which left him in 12th position overnight. But in the final on Sunday, he had to contend with Comanche’s showjumping problems, which dropped the combination down below Polly Stockton.

Oliver Townend rode a superb dressage test on Topping, but dropped down the order following a wayward stop on the cross-county by the 12-year-old gelding. The combination eventually completed just ahead of Polly Jackson.

Polly Jackson, who was a last minute replacement for Bumble Thomas who was forced to withdraw The Psephologist less than a week before the competition, made a brilliant job of Saturday’s cross-country, which was of huge dimensions. The diminutive Two for Joy had one mistake which cost them dear, but they went on to complete.

As discounted team member following a struggle across country, Leslie Law decided not to present Shear L’Eau at the final trot up on Sunday morning, once he had established that the rest of his team mates had gone through to the final stage of the championships. He had an emotional day however, retiring long-time four-star campaigner Shear H2O

Youngster Kitty Boggis, who got off to a fabulous start this season by finishing seventh on Five Boys in her Badminton debut, wasn’t quite so fortunate in Saturday’s sodden conditions, eventually pulling up before the water after two stops.

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