Britain on top at showjumping Europeans

  • After an exciting morning of top class showjumping, Great Britain now leads both the team and individual standings at the PSI FEI European Jumping Championships in Herning, Denmark.

    France’s loss was Great Britain’s gain on day 2 of the competition. An 8-fault round from last rider Kevin Staut (Silvana HDC) proved costly, while 3 clears provided Team GBR with a timely boost.

    The British squad of Ben Maher (Cella), Michael Whitaker (Viking), William Funnell (Billy Congo) and Scott Brash (Hello Sanctos) leap-frogged up from the silver medal position to head the leader board going in to tomorrow’s team final.

    However, with Switzerland just 0.27pen behind, and a determined France in third — less than one rail adrift — there is no room for error as the top 10 teams jump once more to decide the medals.

    Obviously we’re very happy, but it’s too early to get excited,” said Great Britain’s performance manager Rob Hoekstra. “Ben rode another beautiful round, Michael was very pleased to jump clear and William was perhaps a bit too careful. But Scott is always very cool under pressure.

    “I’ve told them to take off their boots, we’ll enjoy a quiet team dinner tonight, then get ready for tomorrow.”

    In the individual rankings — the final of which is on Saturday — the top 3 remain unchanged with Ben Maher leading Switzerland’s Olympic champion Steve Guerdat (Nino Des Buissonnets) and Roger Yves Bost 3d for France. Scott Brash’s confident clear pushed him up the leader board to 7th place while Shane Breen (Balloon) is best of the Irish in 12th.

    “I didn’t think I was out of it, but anyone who goes clear all the way from now on in can continue to move right up,” said Scott.

    European showjumping championship standings: round 2

    Team standings
    1. Great Britain 8.18
    2. Switzerland 8.45
    3. France 11.14
    4. Germany 12.77
    5. Sweden 13.44
    9. Ireland 22.42

    Individual rankings
    1. Ben Maher (Cella) GBR 0
    2. Steve Guerdat (Nino Des Buissonnets) SUI 0.29
    3. Roger Yves Bost (Castle Forbes Myrtile Paulois) FRA 0.58
    4. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (Casall ASK) SWE 1.63
    5. Luciana Diniz (Winningmood) POR 1.85
    6. Daniel Deusser (Cornet D’Amour) GER 2.01
    7. Scott Brash (Hello Sanctos) GBR 2.72
    12. Shane Breen (Balloon) IRL 3.92
    18. Michael Whitaker (Viking) GBR 5.46
    57. William Funnell (Billy Congo) GBR 19.76

    The team final gets underway at 17.00BST on Thursday 22 August. Follow the action on twitter @horseandhound and don’t miss our bumper special report from the ECCO FEI European jumping, dressage and para-dressage championships in 29 August issue of Horse & Hound magazine.

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