Britain outside team medals after first day of European Eventing Championships, as Piggy French says: ‘We’ve got to keep fighting’

Britain sits fifth in the team competition after the first day of dressage at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships today (Thursday, 29 August) at Luhmühlen, Germany.

Team GBR’s second rider today, Piggy French, was pleased with her test on Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo, but less pleased with the mark of 29.8 — she scored an 8.5 for her entry from Anne-Mette Binder at M, but after that the judges didn’t give her any marks above 7.5. Piggy holds seventh place.

“I thought it was ok — there wasn’t a mistake and to do a clear round is the most important thing with him,” she said. “I was quite pleased, but a little disappointed not to have a few more marks — but that’s a better way round than thinking you have thrown away marks.

“But it’s not a dressage competition and we’ve got to keep going and keep fighting to Sunday night.”

British individual rider Laura Collett holds the individual gold medal position with London 52 on 25.5, while Germany and France’s second team members, Kai Rüder (Colani Sunrise) and Thibaut Vallette (Qing Du Briot ENE HN), also both put in strong tests this afternoon to sit equal second at the end of the day on a mark of 25.8.

“He was going very well in the preparations and the last 10 minutes before I went in felt very comfortable,” said Kai. “The trot is really the highlight of his test and in the canter it’s a case of bringing it home.”

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Germany sits in the silver medal position overnight in the team competition, with Belgium leading, courtesy of Karin Donckers (Fletcha Van’t Verahof) and Laura Loge (Absolut Allegro), who hold joint fourth.

Thibaut’s good test has helped France to bronze at the close of play today, with Italy in fourth place.

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