The French team is out of the running for the medals at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships after Jean Teulère did not present Espoir De La Mare at the final horse inspection.
As the host nation also lost Nicolas Touzaint yesterday, this means only two members of their team can finish and they must count a score of 1000 for non-completion in their final team mark, which puts them totally out of contention.
The British also had some drama — Oliver Townend’s Flint Curtis was eliminated at the trot-up, having been sent to the holding box and then re-presented.
As Oliver was providing the discard score, this does not affect Britain’s team score or position. With the loss of France, Britain now holds a 70.7 penalty lead over Italy — who move up into silver position — and barring show jumping disasters, should have an eighth consecutive team gold in the bag.
Belgium moves up into the bronze medal position. One member of their team, Constantin Van Rijckevorsel with Our Vintage, did not present, but his was the discard score anyway.
French individual Arnaud Boiteau, who was fifth overnight, did not present Expo Du Moulin, who lost a shoe on the cross-country yesterday.
Finland’s Lucky Accord (ridden by Sanna Siltakorpi) and Poland’s Weriusz (ridden by Pawel Spisak) were both held, but passed on re-inspection.
Final report from the Europeans at www.horseandhound.co.uk/eventingeuros2009 later and don’t miss H&H on 1 October for our full eight-page special report, including Tina Cook’s column.