Britain holds team silver — just — after mixed fortunes on European Eventing Championships cross-country day

Britain holds the team silver position after cross-country day (Saturday, 31 August) at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen, Germany, but Team GBR is less than a penalty ahead of the chasing pack.

After clears inside the time from Pippa Funnell and Piggy French, the wheels slightly came off the British challenge in the third team rider rotation when Tina Cook had a run-out at the arrowhead coming out of the second water, the Meßmer Teich (fence 12abc) on Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy The Red.

“I don’t know what to say except I’m very disappointed I let the whole team down,” said Tina.

Britain’s fortunes were revived when the final competitors headed out and Oliver Townend put in a fault-free round on Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class.

“Everything went 100% to plan — boring for you, a relief for me,” said Oliver.

Germany’s leading pair, Michael Jung (FischerChipmunk FRH) and Ingrid Klimke (SAP Hale Bob OLD), both went clear inside the time to retain the individual gold and silver positions and confirm Germany in team gold as the day came to a close.

“It was nice to see how many people came out to support our sport,” said Michael of riding in front of the enthusiastic home crowd. “FischerChipmunk was amazing today.”

European Eventing Championships cross-country results

Michael Jung and FischerChipmunk FRH at the European Eventing Championships 2019

Germany holds the gold by a margin of 14.3 penalties, but the current bronze medal holders, the French, are just 0.8 of a penalty behind Britain. Pippa Funnell’s score on Majas Hope is now a counting one for Britain after Tina’s penalties; Pippa jumped clear inside the time on Marek Sebastak’s horse as Team GBR’s pathfinder.

France’s Thibaut Vallette also sits in the individual bronze position on Qing Du Briot ENE HN.

In the individual standings, Oliver Townend is fifth, with Piggy French and Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo ninth. Oliver is just 1.8 penalties behind Thibaut in bronze, with the Netherlands’ Tim Lips (Bayro) between them in fourth.

Laura Collett lost her provisional bronze medal with a fall today on Karen Bartlett, Keith Scott and her own Karen Bartlett, Keith Scott’s and her own London 52.

But Britain’s second individual fared better when Kitty King came home just 2.4 time-penalties to sit 10th overnight on Vendredi Biats, who belongs to Diana Bown, Sally Eyre, Samantha Wilson and Sally Lloyd-Baker.

“I had to hold his hand a bit because he’s only 10 and green at this level, but I’m just delighted with him,” said Kitty.

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The competition concludes with the showjumping tomorrow, after the final horse inspection where the ground jury decide if the horses are fit to continue in the competition.

Check back for more updates from the Eventing European Championships in Luhmühlen later and tomorrow, plus full report in next week’s Horse & Hound magazine (dated 5 September).