Britain is through to the final round of the team competition in the Bank of America Merrill Lynch-sponsored showjumping at the World Equestrian Games (WEG). Team GBR finished ninth today (Thursday, 20 September) and the top 10 teams will return tomorrow to fight for medals and Olympic qualification, which goes to the top six teams.
Amanda Derbyshire starred for Britain this afternoon with five faults — four for a foot in the water and one for time — on Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Luibanta BH.
“I’m so proud of her, she was brilliant,” said Amanda. “For a little horse to jump all those big jumps when it’s hot and keep going to the end is incredible.”
Britain’s final rider William Whitaker had eight faults on Ludwig Criel’s Utamaro D’Ecaussines, at the upright at fence six and the second element of the difficult double at 13.
“It was a tough course and that’s what you expect, but it’s still disappointing,” said William. “I need to have a look at the video and work out where it all went wrong.”
William Funnell (Billy Buckingham) had five faults this morning and Holly Smith eight, so with one of Britain’s eight-fault scores discarded, the team score from today and yesterday is 31.04. This is some 12.95 points behind the medal zone, but less than one pole (four faults) behind sixth place, which would secure a ticket to Tokyo 2020.
Ireland currently sits sixth on 27.12. Paul O’Shea had eight faults this afternoon on Skara Glen’s Macchu Picchu, at the final part of the treble at four and the second element of the double at 13.
“I don’t know know what I’d do differently — we needed a bit of luck. He tried his heart out and gave us everything,” said Paul.
Cian O’Connor secured Ireland’s position in the final with a fantastic clear on Good Luck, one of only five today.
“I’m really happy. Yesterday I made a mistake and today I rode better and he went clear,” said Cian.
Cian currently lies fifth individually, with Amanda Britain’s best rider in 25th.
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Switzerland, the USA and Germany hold the team medal spots at the end of today. Switzerland’s effort is led by Janika Sprunger on Bacardi VDL, who just had a time-fault today.
Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca holds the individual lead now, after a clear today on Irenice Horta.
“She’s jumping amazingly and we’ll keep trying our best,” said Lorenzo, who has only been riding the mare since June.
McLain Ward is second for the US, having added a single time-fault to his score today, and Sweden’s Peder Fredricson sits third with H&M Christian K.
Keep up to date with all the news from Tryon on
Horse & Hound’s bumper magazine reports from WEG will be in the issues dated 20 September (dressage and eventing) and 27 September (showjumping and para dressage).