Britain’s participation in the Bank of America Merrill Lynch-sponsored showjumping at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) after today (Thursday, 20 September) hangs in the balance with two riders still to go.
Only the top 10 nations at the end of today progress to jump again tomorrow and fight for medals and Tokyo 2020 qualification, which goes to the top six teams
Britain’s pathfinder, William Funnell on the The Billy Stud’s Billy Buckingham, had four faults for a foot on the tape at the water and a single time-fault this morning.
“I didn’t envisage I was anywhere near the water but apparently he just put one foot back. I’ll obviously have to make sure I give him a kick there tomorrow,” said William. “But for his first championship I’m very pleased with him. The time is always a problem and we knew that before we came, but he’s proved he can do it. Let’s hope he can do the same tomorrow.
“I think clear rounds are going to be at a premium, let’s hope we can jump one or two.”
William’s team-mate Holly Smith had two fences down with Hearts Destiny, who belongs to TJ Hall Limited, Holly and her husband Graham.
“I think the horse was foot perfect up until those mistakes and he is inexperienced,” said Holly.
Britain appears 14th on the team leaderboard at the lunchbreak, but with two riders to go from each team, much can still change. Amanda Derbyshire (Luibanta BH) and William Whitaker (Utamaro D’Ecaussines) will ride for Team GBR this afternoon.
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Shane Sweetnam had eights faults for the front rail off the spread fence at number two and the second part of the double down in the difficult final line (13) on Chaqui Z.
“It’s a lot more difficult than yesterday,” said Shane. “The horse jumped well. It was a bit of a cheap fence at the end, it’s a difficult line and he just shifted a bit right and gave it a little rub. I’m a bit disappointed because he’s been on form and we needed a good round for the team, but we’ll just have to go step by step and see where we are at the end of today. Then if we’re in position to come back we’ll give it a go tomorrow.”
Shane Breen had 14 faults with Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker for a foot in the water, two fences down and two time-penalties.
“He is inexperienced and this is another level,” said Shane. “I’m disappointed for myself and the team — he did jump great, but we made silly mistakes.”
Switzerland is currently heading the team leaderboard, with the USA second, the Netherlands third and Germany fourth.
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Horse & Hound’s bumper magazine reports from WEG will be in the issues dated 20 September (dressage and eventing) and 27 September (showjumping and para dressage).