British reign supreme at Pau

  • The British team takes gold once again, while Pippa Funnell retains her individual European eventing crown

    In a dramatic climax to the European three-day event championships, Pippa Funnell and Supreme Rock held on to their title and clinched team gold for Britain once again.

    All three remaining members of the second-placed French team show jumped with Gallic flair but could not catch the British squad. A solid performance from the Italian team, also down to three after the withdrawal of Cool N Breezy, gave them team bronze.

    Leslie Law’s careful clear on Shear H2O gained the team just three time-penalties, and was followed by a tidy round with just one fence down for Jeanette Brakewell and Over To You.

    The French barrage had everyone on the edge of their seats, with all their team members going clear apart from Didier Courreges, who had just five penalities.

    Good clears from Enrique Sarasola and Inken Johannsen put these two in the running for individual medals should any of the top three fault, and sadly William Fox-Pitt was the first to do so. One fence down dropped him to sixth.

    Heidi Antikatzides came close to retaining the silver position but, as at the Sydney Olympics, she lost out, one fence down dropping her out of the medals, giving Inken and Enrique well-deserved silver and bronze medals respectively.

    Then it was down to Pippa, and with two fences in hand for the individual title and three for the team, tension ran high. Supreme Rock jumped for his life, giving everything maximum clearance until crashing through the penultimate fence, the third part of a large treble.

    But Pippa gathered the big bay together to clear the final upright and secure double gold for Britain.

    See this Thursday’s Horse & Hound (18 October) for full report and pictures, or click here to subscribe.

    You may like...