After Ingrid Klimke’s superb test, the bar was set high for the final competitors, but Ros managed to come in on a score of 20.6, just 0.4 of a penalty adrift of the German, with a relaxed, expressive test on her own and Caroline Moore’s Allstar B.
Knowing Allstar B would be “his usual lazy self”, Ros set up a group of British team personnel to clap and cheer as she entered the main arena, which resulted in the big bay “pricking his ears for about half a second” before he returned his characteristic laid-back demeanour.
“But he’s just the most rideable horse I’ve ever had in a dressage test – he doesn’t change regardless of the atmosphere or anything else, so he just lets me ride for every mark. That’s where his heart shines really and always has done,” said Ros, who is the reigning individual world champion with this horse, who is now 16 years old.
“Time and time again he does a mistake-free test so it’s a lot of pressure coming out on him, but equally I want to try and enjoy every minute because I know I haven’t got many left with him.”
Ros scored five nines in the course of her test, two of them for the final harmony mark, but admitted Allstar B makes her work for it – “I’m dripping with sweat,” she joked, as temperatures hit 23°C.
“He quite enjoys the first halt – he’d quite like to stay there for the rest of the test really, but we know each other inside out and I know that when I get in there, he’s pretty solid so I can really attack it and that’s what makes him a special horse,” she said.
With the European Eventing Championships dressage phase complete, Britain holds the team gold, 4.9 penalties ahead of Germany. France is a further 7.6 penalties in arrears, led by Maxime Livio (Api Du Libaire), who is fourth individually.
Britain holds five of the top eight placings, with Sarah Bullimore’s test earlier today on Corouet putting her fifth at the conclusion of the phase, Piggy March (Brookfield Inocent) sitting in sixth and Kitty King’s performance on Vendredi Biats earning her eighth.
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