Shock run-out for world champions as Germany keeps pressure on Britain

  • Britain’s lead over Germany has narrowed after the world champions Yasmin Ingham and Banzai Du Loir had a surprising run-out towards the end of the European Eventing Championships cross-country course. The pair seemed to be coasting around, the stunning chestnut so light on his feet despite the tacky ground, but fell foul of the final element at the Fischer Coffin, fence 22c, an angled brush after a rail and ditch.

    Until his mistake, Banzai looked to be putting in the round of the day, skipping round Pierre le Goupil’s influential track.

    “Sadly it was not our day – he felt absolutely amazing round pretty much everything until there was just one split second where we had a little moment,” said Yasmin. “It was a super track to ride round and he gave me such an amazing feel. I’m so proud of him for giving me his all today on what is quite a tough track. The first water was very intense; the drops down felt like a staircase. But it all rode to my plan bar one small moment.

    “I didn’t quite get up the bank on the right distance and he wasn’t in a position to jump the fence, so I’m kicking myself but we’re always learning and he jumped round the rest with absolute perfection. I’ll be thinking ‘what if’ all evening about how to ride that fence again. He jumped the ditch, but you don’t know until you land, and it was such a short distance that there wasn’t enough room. It’s annoying!”

    However, Banzai “came home really well, ears pricked and he’s ready to do something else now”.

    Britain had, however, already posted one fast clear on the leaderboard courtesy of Kitty King’s neat round on Vendredi Biats, and after two of the four riders, they still hold on to the gold medal position.

    German pressure on British hopes

    Germany’s team pathfinder Christoph Wahler jumped clear but picked up 13.2 time-faults on Carjatan S. He was protecting 10th place and Germany’s silver-medal position, but the grey lacked his usual spring on this heavy going.

    Carjatan looked extremely strong at the start, and launched over the downhill Fox’s Brush at fence five, before settling down to his task. The rangy grey seemed to hit some flat spots during his round, and gave the frangible fence at 22a a good rattle, but it stayed put. He added 13.2 time-faults, which gives some measure of the toll this ground is taking as Carjatan usually clocks a fast time.

    “It wasn’t the most pleasant round I’ve ever had,” said Christoph. “It was super hard work for him, starting at fence one, he felt like he had to dig really deep in the mud. He’s the most honest horse you could wish for. Every time I wasn’t sure where the take-off was because his stride was changing, but he has a lot of scope so I could trust him with a longer rein that he’d do his job.”

    Christoph was grateful for the organisers’ decision to take out a loop of the course.

    “The course was nicely built and straightforward but the conditions change everything and the way your horse can cope with the conditions,” he said. “My horse today showed me he was the bravest I could wish for even though he wasn’t the most adjustable, because we basically had one speed – I couldn’t change the gear down or up, but he did everything I asked for.”

    How the home nation fared in European Eventing Championships cross-country

    The first French rider gave the partisan crowd plenty to cheer about. The Chatsworth winners Stephane Landois and Ride For Thais Chaman Dumontceau put in a smooth pathfinding round for 8.8 time-faults. He had a little blip over the little log under the trees, when Chaman tipped him forward but he finished clear.

    “The ground is very sticky,” said Stephane. “My horse has one speed – it’s not very fast and I can’t accelerate, but he has plenty of stamina and I can stay in that rhythm. I would have liked to have gone faster but for the team I think it’s a good result.”

    Karim Florent Laghouag and Triton Fontaine set out like he meant business on a score of 30.5 for the French team, urged on by roars from the crowd. Karim gave the 16-year-old a positive ride. He had a nervous moment when he tripped before the corner at the Bivouac at fence 20b, but it hardly broke his stride. He finished tired, but 16.4 time-faults is a strong result at this stage.

    France’s individual rider Benjamin Massie (Edition Fonroy) had a run-out during a hairy passage through the second water (18), then broke a frangible fence at the Fischer Coffin (22a). They did however complete, and as the horse is only nine years old, she shows much promise for next year.

    Ireland’s individual rider Ian Cassells suffered the first fall of the day as Woodendfarm Jack OD straddled the final element in the first water (7c), giving his rider no chance of staying in the plate. The horse cantered off looking none the worse, and was quickly caught. Ireland had no better luck with Felicity Ward and Regal Bounty, who were well off the pace on 37.9 in the dressage. They were going well up to fence 19 – one of the many table-type fences – but had a horse fall there. Both were quickly up on their feet and walked home.

    End of day update: Yasmin Ingham holds 25th overnight, Christoph Wahler sits sixth, Stephane Landois fourth and Karim Florent Laghouag 15th. Full individual results

    Horse & Hound has a team of reporters covering all the action at the Europeans in Haras du Pin. To keep reading on our website after five articles, readers will need to buy a subscription. Visit horseandhound.co.uk/join to buy a Horse & Hound website unlimited subscription or, for great value, visit magazinesdirect.com/XHH-brandsite for a combined magazine and website subscription. If you are already a magazine subscriber, the cost to upgrade your subscription to include full website access is minimal – call 0330 333 1113 to find out more.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...