Find out how all the British riders fared today (Saturday 12 September) at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships at Blair Castle.
Kitty King, 32, with Jane and Frank Inns’ Persimmon (team rider) — 8.4 time-faults, fifth after cross-country
“He’s really feisty and he can make my life difficult — he likes to stay long and open, especially at the end of the course, and I have to make sure he comes back to me,” said Kitty. “Although he became quite feisty, he always wanted to jump and was looking for his flags so I couldn’t have asked for more.
“I was on my minute markers until the last water [where she took the long route], then I was about half a minute down. We made up some time and he didn’t feel tired.
“I’ve never even noticed the crowds at Badminton, but I noticed them here for the first time throughout my round.”
Gemma Tattersall, 30, with The Soul Syndicate’s Arctic Soul (individual rider) — clear inside the time, seventh after cross-country
“I’m so chuffed, he was just fantastic,” said Gemma. “He loves the mud and hills, he just puts his head down and gets into it. I was kind of pleased it was raining today for him — he’s even better in tough conditions.
“He was so careful and was like a cat in the combinations. For such a massive thoroughbred horse he was like pop, pop, pop in the coffin [Irish Horse Gateway complex at 23/24ab].”
Sarah Bullimore, 42, with her husband Brett’s and her own Lilly Corinne (individual rider) — 20 penalties at fence 4c (House of Bruar Shepherds Bothies), 10.4 time-faults, 21st after cross-country
“She locked onto the log basket [between elements b and c] and jumped that, which then put me off my line for the third part so she couldn’t jump that,” said Sarah.
“After I’d turned her there she realised she had made a mistake and she doesn’t like to make a mistake, so she was a bit looky for the next few fences. Then she got going and gave me a fantastic ride.
“I’ve had so many lovely well-wishers and I feel I’ve let everyone down. It was a stupid stop to have at something that was really a schooling exercise like you’d jump at home and play through — it’s not like there’s a problem like having a stop at a coffin or water.”
Holly Woodhead, 21, her father Ian and stepmother Heidi Woodhead’s DHI Lupison (individual rider) — 20 penalties at fence 4b (House of Bruar Shepherds Bothies), 18 time-faults, 22nd after cross-country
“I held him a bit too much coming to the first part [at fence 4] and turned a bit too tight — I should have given him a bit more time to see the second part,” said Holly
“He gave me an amazing ride the rest of the way and I’ve learned a lot. I’d tell the rest of the British riders to keep hold of their horses’ heads at the combinations, but they’re all very experienced and will be fine.
“The rain hasn’t really sunk in so the ground is quite greasy on top.”
Laura Collett, 25, with Diana Chappell’s Grand Manoeuvre (individual rider) — 10.8 time-faults, ninth after cross-country
“I’m over the moon with how he jumped round,” said Laura. “He’s not the easiest horse to ride inside the time as he jumps high and gets strong.
“It’s really slippy out there. I was aware of that before I went out. The ground has actually been quite hard the last few days and now it’s greasy. The course rode tougher than it walked.”
Nicola Wilson, 38, with Mary and Gerry Kemp and Janine Shewan’s One Two Many (team rider) — 20 penalties at fence 16b (UK Sport corners), 18.8 time-faults, 28th after cross-country
“I’m devastated, so, so disappointed,” said Nicola. “He was giving me a super ride and he jumped the first corner beautifully. I made the turn and everything appeared to be lined up for the second — I don’t know if he just didn’t see it. He jumped it beautifully the second time.
“You have to regroup after that and just get home as quickly as possible.”
Izzy Taylor, 32, with Guy Avis’ KBIS Briarlands Matilda (individual rider) — clear inside the time, third after cross-country
Izzy was held at the start for quite a lengthy time in very wet weather while the haggis fence at 21b was taken out of the course after it had caused three falls and the ground had deteriorated significantly.
“It wasn’t pleasant but I felt sorry for the people held on course as at least I could shelter,” said Izzy. “It was quite cold for us and especially for a mare you don’t want the muscles to get cold so they can’t run and jump.
“She’s a very good cross-country horse and very honest. She tripped going into the second last [the Strzegom brushes at 27 and 28], chipped in an extra stride and was very honest to go on two strides.
“The crowd were amazing — even at the highest point of the course there were people up there cheering us on.”
Oliver Townend, 32, with PJ Hegarty’s Fenyas Elegance (individual rider) — 20 penalties at 19b (Malcolm Group corner), six time-faults, 19th after cross-country
“She has a good record, but has lost her way a little bit,” said Oliver. “I had her a bit strong to make sure she was going and when I needed control, I didn’t have enough of it. There are no excuses.”
Pippa Funnell, 46, with her mother Jenny Nolan, Ruth McMullen and her own Sandman 7 (team rider) — 9.6 time-faults, 10th after cross-country
“I was so frightened, I just kept thinking I didn’t want to wreck this lovely young horse,” said Pippa. “I’ll kick myself over the time-faults later, but he was class and showed the sort of horse he could develop into.
“I was frightened to ruin this potentially very good horse by asking him a big question, but he really delivered. If he was two years older he’d have been quicker — at this stage he couldn’t have been quicker.”
“I really am delighted.”
Wills Oakden 25, with David Kenwright and Sylvia Douglas’ Greystone Midnight Melody (individual rider) — 26.4 time-faults, 26th after cross-country
“It was hard work out there — the ground had really deteriorated,” said Wills. “They’ve done an amazing job with it, but the weather hasn’t played ball.
“We all had to use our heads and she answered every question. I’m thrilled to have got round my first senior championship clear. The crowd were incredible all the way and gave us a good boost. They made my championship debut extra special.”
Francis Whittington, 37, with Catherine Witt’s Easy Target (individual rider) — retired at fence 21a (Albert Bartlett Haggis, Neaps and Tatties)
“Bless his heart, he was tiring and struggling in the conditions,” said Francis. “He got to the top of that hill and came to that upright fence and I just felt him die and completely drop off the leg. I pulled on the reins, there was no point even trying to jump it.
“He’s fine now, he just got tired and leg weary in this going. It wasn’t worth the risk of trying to go on.”
William Fox-Pitt, 46, with Catherine Witt’s Bay My Hero (team rider) — retired at fence 17 (Joules Brush Arrowhead)
“He just didn’t enjoy it,” said William. “He was going into the ground and found the conditions tough. He tried his best, but he just lost the will. He’s never had a run-out in his life.
“I feel I’ve let the team down and hope we’re still in the hunt with the other three scores. It wasn’t my day.”
Full report from the European Championships at Blair in H&H next week, out Thursday, 17 September — 19 pages of analysis and photographs, plus columns from Anna Ross, Harry Meade and Mike Etherington-Smith.