The morning couldn’t have started a lot worse — thanks to my alarm not going off, and Mark Lucey having to come banging on mine and Emily’s door to wake us up 10 minutes after we were supposed to have left.
However I persuaded myself that it was a sign we were going to prove we could win a medal, against all odds, and as I walked the course I actually became quite excited. Although Rooey and I are a pretty experienced combination at this level, there was certainly no way a clear was definite — the second half of the course just consisted of accuracy question after question, and there was no let up. I was sure it would be exciting.
Sure enough, the first girl on course retired after I’d seen her bank one of the earlier fences, and then the course was held… These problems spurred me on, fuelling my determination to show the British we could do it, and before long we were out of the start and away.
Rooey was awesome, making if feel so easy — and as soon as I clicked after the fences he just lowered and zoomed off like a Ferrari. I can’t even think of a scary moment, he was foot perfect through the influential waters, and as I looked at my watch over the second last we nearly had a minute to get home! As it was we got in about 20 seconds inside — which I hope gave the others confidence that it was entirely possible.
The Brits in fact gave a perfect cross-country demonstration — with all four of our team going clear inside the team, which is a record I think for today, and the reason we’ve sprung up to the previously undreamt of gold medal position!
Nicola hung on tight to her place at the top with a fantastic round, leaving her in bronze individually, and the rest of us are mostly clustered in the top 20, (with myself in 12th), which is hugely exciting, so fingers and toes crossed for tomorrow please!
Read Charlotte’s final blog tomorrow, plus H&H Online’s show jumping report. Horse & Hound magazine will carry a full report including fantastic photographs in next week’s issue, on sale 30 August, ’07