The British team will hold team and individual gold overnight after dressage leader Ingrid Klimke clocked 1.2 time-faults with SAP Hale Bob OLD at the European Eventing Championships cross-country in Avenches, Switzerland.
Ingrid was Germany’s anchorman and her result drops her to second individually, but keeps Germany in the silver-medal position. Britain has two fences in hand over Germany.
Nicola Wilson’s copybook round on JL Dublin ensured she will be in provisional gold individually ahead of tomorrow’s showjumping phase (26 September). The British team holds the top position despite Ros Canter having two unfortunate run-outs right near the end of the course (fence 28a and 29) at the final water. A rail covers the top seven, so it will be a tight tussle for the individual podium. There are four Brits – team riders Nicola, Piggy March (fourth) Kitty King (seventh) and individual rider Sarah Bullimore (fifth) – in this group, with Izzy Taylor rounding out the top 10, also riding as an individual.
“The mood all week has been fantastic,” said Nicola. “It’s a lovely group of girls, we’re taking it one day at a time and I think the whole support behind the team has been fantastic. We’ll enjoy the results today, and this evening get our minds in focus for tomorrow.”
Ingrid’s round on her dual (and reigning) European champion was not entirely polished, with the horse making two misjudgements at brush fences which may have contributed to their three seconds over the time. The 17-year-old superstar was characteristically bold and strong, but was perhaps feeling fresh as he has only had one international run (a four-star win) since Ingrid was sidelined after a fall in May.
“I’m very happy because he did many lovely jumps and at all the difficult parts or downhill to the corner, he was bold and courageous, like he always is,” she said. “I had lots of time at the seven-minute marker, but at the end we couldn’t really go any faster. I took my time because I wanted to precise until the end. I thought I would make it, unfortunately just two [three] seconds outside. But he’s happy and trotted in full of himself, and he did a lovely job.”
France in double bronze after European Eventing Championships cross-country
Maxime Livio, fourth after dressage, had to juggle his individual aspirations with the necessity of recording a completion for the French team after his compatriot Gwendolen Fer fell. He steered the inexperienced Api Du Libaire home clear, also adding 1.2 time-faults to carry 22.5 forward to the showjumping tomorrow (26 September). He is now lying in bronze position.
“He was a bit deliberate in the two jumps in the water, so after that I went for it,” said Maxime. “What I’m happy about is that I achieved the mission I was sent out to do – to come home with a clear round, with as few time-faults as possible but without taking any risk. I managed to do that without impacting too much on my individual score.
“I couldn’t have asked for more – he’s lacking a bit of experience and preparation. Sometimes he can give me a bit too much at the start and then not have enough left at the end, so I had to keep a rhythm.”
Germany’s Michael Jung is currently sixth on nine-year-old Fischerwild Wave thanks to a clear inside the time, with his compatriot Christoph Wahler and Carjatan S eighth, though he is riding as an individual.
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