Ros Canter leads Britain to double European gold: ‘I have Walter to thank for this’

  • Ros Canter topped the European Eventing Championships results this afternoon, securing individual gold and leading Britain to team gold on Michele Saul’s Lordships Graffalo.

    “I’m very relieved – there’s quite a lot of pressure when you have a bit of a margin,” said Ros, who entered the arena with two fences in hand, and had one down. “It almost makes it worse – there’s longer to fall and the expectation was I should win it so I had to keep myself in my bubble, remind myself who I was sat on and try to do the best job I could in that situation.

    “For me the team always comes first. It’s what I do it for, what I dream of doing and always has been. My family are sporting all-rounders so it’s always been about trying to ride for Britain. After Badminton that was a massive box ticked and I never thought it could get much better. I’ve got ‘Walter’ to thank for it.

    “It’s Walter’s world and we are privileged to be able to live with him in it. But that, I think, is really what he thinks; he just cruises his way through life. He was actually probably the most on edge he’s ever been today. It’s quite an unusual place because you can hear the clapping and the cheering from near the stables.”

    Fellow team member Kitty King secured the individual silver medal in the European Eventing Championships results, riding Vendredi Biats, owned by Diana Bown, Sally Lloyd Baker, Samantha Wilson and the late Sally Eyre.

    Yasmin Ingham was the first British team rider to jump and The Sue Davies Fund’s Banzai Du Loir just tipped the front rail off the white oxer at three. She was providing the team discard score, so this did not affect Britain’s tally. Reigning world champion Yasmin finished 25th.

    Laura Collett provided a secure clear for Britain’s team score with London 52, owned by his rider, Keith Scott and Karen Bartlett, rounding up her week in individual ninth place. She followed French team rider Karim Florent Laghouag into the arena and the crowd gave Karim’s clear a rapturous reception as she entered.

    European Eventing Championships results: Laura Collett and London 52

    Laura Collett and London 52 at the 2023 European Championships.

    “I think ‘Dan’ thought everyone was cheering for him entering the arena, so I let him think that,” said Laura. “He was fantastic – to come out after what he did yesterday and jump like that, he’s a serious horse.

    “I gave him a little jump straight after the trot-up and he felt perky enough. Then I think just coming down here and having the atmosphere really perks him up anyway so that helps and he felt super from the moment I started warming up and he just got better and better in there.

    “It’s a great arena and an unbelievable atmosphere, especially when you follow a French person jumping a clear. Luckily he likes crowds – I wouldn’t have wanted to be on one that gets a bit nervous with the crowds.”

    Laura’s fault-free round meant the British had a comfortable margin for the team honours, but Kitty did not have a fence in hand to keep her individual silver. She could, though, afford a few time-faults and she took the first part of her round a little more slowly. Vendredi Biats jumped beautifully and Kitty crossed the finish line with 1.2 time-faults to secure her first individual senior championship medal.

    Ros entered the arena with two fences and some time in hand and used up some of her margin when the middle element of the treble at fence four fell. But she had no further penalties and added individual European gold to her 2018 world individual gold on Allstar B.

    In the final European Eventing Championships results, Britain won team gold by 27.3 penalties. Germany landed team silver, just three penalties ahead of France, and Sandra Auffarth – 2014 world champion here at Haras du Pin – collected individual bronze on Viamant Du Matz.

    British performance manager Dickie Waygood said: “It’s fantastic. We rode the dragon yesterday, I think every team did and it was a tough old day in the office for sure. Today was a nail-biting end and a wonderful way to finish the weekend.

    “The horses jumped really well off the ground today and looked well coming out of yesterday. There weren’t many poles down, so that’s a credit to how well the horses are from all the teams.”

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