Emily and the 12-year-old Winning Good saved their best performance for this round over Frank Rothenberger’s demanding track. The pair gave the oxer at fence four a rub but it stayed in place, and while the gelding looked a little keen pulling to the vertical at fence eight, they completed a lovely clear inside the time. This was good enough to secure the pair a ticket to the individual final on Sunday (5 September) where the top 25 riders will compete for medals. Emily lies in 22nd on 12.12 and is the only Brit to qualify.
The 23-year-old rider was thrilled with the gelding, owned by Poden Farms and her parents Neil and Heidi Moffitt, following today’s round. The pair had a difficult start on day one during which they picked up 12 points with three fences down. Emily said at the time the opening speed round hadn’t suited the forward-going gelding, who she describes as “a tank”. The pair were more together yesterday, just picking up an unlucky four faults at the oxer immediately after the water jump.
Emily said she went into today’s competition believing she would jump clear: “Last night I said ‘tomorrow’s the day!’. I think having that mindset certainly helps. The second I started jumping him in the warm-up, I thought ‘today’s the day’.
“He felt like he really tuned in, was focusing and listening and letting me ride him. He was a bit aggressive still, which is him, but he had respect for what I was asking. I knew from one to two when he didn’t jerk his head around we were in the game.”
Reflecting on the “Winnie’s” forward and attacking nature, Emily said it’s what makes the gelding “so good”.
“I’ve mentioned before that we once managed to get him very calm, but he did not have the same jump at all. It gives him the extra edge and that spark,” she said.
“We’re very experienced together, but we’ve never done a championship. The next championship that I get to go to I’ll have a completely different mindset. I know what to expect now, I know what to work on such as the first day with the speed. If that day hadn’t happened the way it did, I think the whole weekend would have been more like today.”
Emily was accompanied at the European Showjumping Championships with her coach Olympic showjumping champion Ben Maher.
“I can lean on Ben. When I’m feeling like I’m a little bit in no man’s land, it’s always helpful having somebody that you trust,“ she said. “We’ve been working together for so long, he helps me ride Winnie and he knows Winnie like the back of his hand. The three of us are so great together.”
Emily was the second of Great Britain’s riders to jump in this team medal-deciding round at the European Showjumping Championships. Britain’s team of young rising stars started the day in eighth, before pathfinders Georgia Tame and Ascot Z7 retired from the competition following a refusal at fence three, leaving the remaining three rider’s scores to count.
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