Twelve fences and fifteen jumping efforts await the 42 starters on the final day of the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships. Stephen Renouard’s track is set in front of the panoramic views around Blair Castle, and riders will jump the final fence directly in front of the covered grandstand.
A clear round is all that stands between Britain’s Izzy Taylor and her first senior medal. The colour of that medal depends on Germany’s Sandra Auffarth, who currently sits just in front of Izzy and can afford no more than a single time fault to stay there. Snapping at their heels are Thibaut Vallette for France and Kitty King for the home side. Kitty’s horse Persimmon, a 10-year-old by Salute RP, has an exemplary showjumping record having not had a fence down this year. Clear rounds for Izzy and Kitty with faults for Sandra and Thibaut could leave Britain with two individual medals this afternoon.
Way out in front is Michael Jung for Germany, fresh from his win at Burghley last week. His horse FischerTakinou, by Jaguar Mail, is the youngest horse in the competition yet skipped around Ian Stark’s track yesterday inside the time. Michael can afford two fences down and a time fault to still take the individual gold for a third consecutive time, but the horse looked more than fresh at the final horse inspection this morning and is unlikely to need so much breathing room.
Blair Europeans showjumping course
Fence 1 – jumped into the corner towards the collecting ring
Fence 2 – a tall vertical jumped off the corner away from the collecting ring
Fence 3 – a beautifully decorated oxer on a related distance of four strides from fence 2
Fence 4 – a vertical in front of the members tent at the top of the arena
Fence 5 – a triple bar on a turn back from fence 4, before a dog leg to the treble at fence 6abc
Fence 6abc – two strides and then one stride through the Longines treble
Fence 7 – a Derby-style oxer positioned very close to the covered grandstand
Fence 8 – a tall vertical with a plank on very flat cups. Sandra Auffarth was seen giving it a few wobbles with chef d’equipe Hans Melzer during the course walk
Fence 9ab – a one stride double jumped away from the members tent
Fence 10 – a beautifully designed water tray with a bridge acting as one of the wings
Fence 11 – a tight turn from fence 10 to a colourful oxer towards the finish
Fence 12 – a very upright, gappy vertical jumped straight towards the crowd that will need respect