Sweden continues its glorious showjumping summer by holding first place after the first day of competition at the European Showjumping Championships — while Germany’s David Will finished on top in the first class at his first championship.
David and C Vier knew what they had to do by their second-last draw in this opening speed competition, and did just that, knocking almost a second off the time of Swedish Peder Fredricson, who is fresh from his Tokyo Olympic team gold and individual silver.
“It couldn’t have been better!” David said. “It was a clear advantage to go at the end, but my horse jumped fantastically.”
David added that his aim had not necessarily been to beat Peder or to win; more to stick to his own plan for the course, ride a good round and be “somewhere near the front leading into the next day”.
“So to win was a big plus!” he said. “I rode according to my plan and I’m very happy with the result, and my horse.
“I was delighted to ride in my first championship in Germany, that’s really special.”
Frank Rothenberger’s track was a testing one, as befits a championship, with questions asked, and issues cropping up, throughout.
But Peder said: “It was really well built. There were a few big questions; you had to turn inside to the water, and there were two combinations in a row near the end, but he did a great job. He got the horses to jump well and be confident, and there were a few who made mistakes.”
Peder — who yesterday had said his 15-year-old ride Catch Me Not S was very slow and would not be in the running — had held his lead for 10 riders, pushing his team mate Douglas Lindelow, on Casquo Blue, into third place.
The result means Sweden is in the lead, with a two-point advantage over Germany, who have an even narrower lead over third-placed Switzerland.
Best of the Brits today was Joe Stockdale, who jumped a superb round on Equine America Cacharel with just an unlucky touch on the last fence to finish in 26th place. William Whitaker and Galtur are in 34th place, again having jumped a strong round, lowering just one pole.
Each rider, and team, carries forward penalties converted from their scores today to tomorrow’s class, from which the top 10 teams will go on to the medal-deciding competition on Friday.
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