Britain has slipped a place to third after the showjumping in the Nations Cup eventing at Aachen this evening (Thursday, 13 August), but the top three teams are within six marks of each other.
The competition is running alongside the FEI European Championships in dressage, showjumping, reining, vaulting and driving taking place at this prestigious German venue. But it is not the eventing European Championships — this is taking place at Blair Castle in Scotland in September.
Britain has a policy of giving up-and-coming riders experience in the Nations Cup series and has stuck to this for Aachen. The four riders on the team are all making their championship debut at Blair, and three of them are riding the same horses here.
Holly Woodhead, third individually after dressage, has moved up to second after a fantastic clear with her father Ian and stepmother Heidi’s DHI Lupison (pictured above).
The time was tight over Frank Rothenberger’s showjumping track today and many riders had an uncomfortable moment pulling their horses inside fence two on the journey between fences six and seven, but Holly motored on round the outside and came home penalty-free.
“He’s a sharp horse and goes better if you keep the rhythm, so I didn’t want to break it by coming inside. He jumped so well out of going that fast,” said Holly. “I thought he’d be quite tired but he’s definitely not.”
Gemma Tattersall also cleared all the fences for Britain and had just one time-fault on The Pebbles’ Syndicate Quicklook V. she has moved up from 12th after dressage to 11th.
Pathfinder Francis Whittington, riding Catherine Witt’s Easy Target, had one fence down, the final part of the treble at five. He has slipped five places from 15th to 20th individually.
Flora Harris had fence 10 down with her mother Caroline and H&H blogger Rebecca Salt’s Bayano, as well as picking up seven time-faults. This cost her 12 places and she is now 34th.
“Overall the horse jumped well — he’s young and he coped well in the atmosphere,” said Flora. “The only person who had had time-faults by the time I went had gone wide somewhere so we didn’t quite have the knowledge we had later — the time was more influential than we expected. It’s a big arena with open distances and that can fool you into thinking you’re going faster than you are.”
The New Zealanders were in the ascendant tonight, with fault-free rounds for all their counting pairs: Jonelle Price and Faerie Dianimo (seventh), her husband Tim and Wesko (ninth) and Mark Todd and NZB Campino (12th). They have moved up from third after dressage to second.
The Germans faltered slightly, but it was not enough to give up their lead. From their team, only Ingrid Klimke (Horseware Hale Bob, fourth) went clear.
World champion Sandra Auffarth had fence 5c down to drop from second to sixth with Opgun Louvo, Michael Jung had fence nine down on 2013 European champion Halunke FBW (14th) and Dirk Schrade had the second part of the double at seven down with Hop And Skip (21st).
Individually Ingrid holds her lead with FRH Escada JS, who had a clear round tonight. Holly is second and Australia’s Andrew Hoy moved up to third courtesy of a fault-free performance with Cheeky Calimbo.
The cross-country starts at 2pm local time (1pm British time) tomorrow.
1. Germany 118.1
2. New Zealand 121.2
3. Great Britain 123.6
4. Sweden 143.9
5. USA 148.9