Nicola Wilson and the wonderful 10-year-old gelding JL Dublin produced a beautiful clear round in the final showjumping phase today (26 September), clinching individual gold in the final European Eventing Championships results. Nicola led Britain to team gold and an all-British individual podium at the event in Avenches, Switzerland.
Riding JL Dublin, who is owned by Jo and James Lambert and Deirdre Johnston, Nicola held her nerve in the showjumping to complete on her 20.9 dressage.
“It’s been a fantastic week for all of the Brits and to finish up there on the top is just a dream come true,” an emotional Nicola said afterwards.
“He is fabulous horse that his owners bought as a four-year-old and he’s been so exciting, all the way through the years. For him to come and do his first championship and finish at the top of the podium, I really am just pinching myself – but he really is a very, very special horse and he felt class in all three phases.”
When asked about how she felt going into the showjumping phase, Nicola said she felt “pressure” and “nerves”.
“I knew he could jump well, but you just don’t know what’s going to happen – a silly mistake and I could have let him down, but he was just phenomenal in there and he went in as cool as a cucumber, very confident and very focused and off we went. It was just an absolute pleasure to ride him in all three phases.”
Team-mate Piggy March also produced a lovely clear round on John and Chloe Perry and Alison Swinburn’s Brookfield Inocent to climb from fourth after the cross-country to clinch an individual silver medal. They also completed on their dressage score of 23.3.
“It’s unbelievable – what a team of just unbelievable horses and unbelievable riders and such great mates of mine as well, so it’s just been such a cool week,” Piggy said after her round.
“But for me personally and for my owners John and Chloe Perry and Alison Swinburn – it’s not been an easy year for them, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster one and hard at times with us missing out on Tokyo. So to come here and their horse be as beautiful as I know he is – I hope we’ve both done them proud and it means so much to me for their first championship experience to come home after a week like this. I’m just so grateful to them.”
Piggy continued to give praise to Brookfield Inocent saying: “I’m so lucky – I think my horse is one of the best horses in the world. He’s a beautiful horse and it’s exciting for the future. But what a week, you couldn’t write it really.”
Rounding off the all-British podium was Sarah Bullimore, who was riding as an individual aboard her diminutive home-bred Corouet. Although only very small, measuring in at around 15.2hh, Corouet, who is owned by Sarah, her husband Brett and the Kew Jumping Syndicate, never looked like he was going to touch a pole, and their clear round helped them climb from fifth after the cross-country.
Germany’s Ingrid Klimke, who had been in individual silver medal position after the cross-country, dropped to eventual fifth after rolling the pole on the third to last fence. Michael Jung, who was also riding for Germany, climbed from sixth after the cross-country to eventual fourth, thanks to a clear round on the nine-year-old FischerWild Wave.
Great Britain topped the European Eventing Championships results convincingly in the team competition, finishing on a total score of 73.1, with Germany taking team silver on 86.4. Meanwhile, the battle for team bronze was fraught between Sweden, Switzerland and France, with Sweden ultimately coming out on top.
Stay tuned to horseandhound.co.uk for further reports and comments from all of the top-placed riders.
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