‘This will take a week to feel real’: Britain’s Georgia Wilson becomes European champion

Britain’s Georgia Wilson has been crowned para dressage European champion in grade II, having won gold in the freestyle with her 10-year-old British-bred mare Midnight.

The 23-year-old, competing at her first championship, went one better than her silver in the individual test on Friday, producing a dazzling display to earn an enormous 78.19%.

“I was slightly ahead of my music so I was a bit worried through the test — I had to really think about how to use the arena and I tried to use all my corners. We finished in the right place. But it was a year ago that we did the floorplan and Midnight has got a lot more powerful in that time,” said Georgia, who relegated Friday’s gold medallist, Pepo Puch of Austria, into silver with Sailor’s Boy.

“I’m not sure the silver team medal has suck in yet — it might take a week for this to seem real.”

Georgia’s trainer Sophie Wells added: “I‘ve always known what she was capable of as we’ve seen it in training, so in a way we aren’t surprised, but she still had to come here and perform and it’s very different doing it under the pressure of a championship.”

Sophie herself also scooped her second individual medal of the week today, with grade V silver aboard Charlotte Hogg’s 12-year-old C Fatal Attraction. Her super score of 78.38% was just beaten by Frank Hosmar of the Netherlands, who completed a hat-trick of golds with Alphaville NOP.

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Britain’s other two riders, Mari Durward-Akhurst (Sky O’Hara) and Nicky Greenhill (King Edward IV), both finished just out of the medals, taking fourth place in the grade I and grade IV freestyles respectively. Both are also competing at their first championship, and helped Britain to team silver earlier in the week.

Don’t miss next week’s issue of H&H for extensive coverage from the European Dressage, Para Dressage and Showjumping Championships, out 29 August