Germany retained their European team and individual titles at the HSBC FEI Malmö European Eventing Championships today. Sweden celebrated hosting their first senior European eventing championship with team silver – their first team medal for 20 years – and France took bronze.
Michael Jung (above) retained the European crown he won first two years ago in Luhmuhlen, Germany, which means he remains, concurrently, the reigning European, world and Olympic champion. But this time he rode a new horse instead of his legendary partner La Bisothetique-Sam FBW, the 9-year-old Halunke FBW. Although he knocked down the fence, he could have afforded 2 and still won the title, such was his dressage lead on Halunke FBW.
William Fox-Pitt (right), who had been in the silver medal position overnight, slipped to bronze when Lisa Stone’s handsome stallion Chilli Morning knocked out the fourth fence. As a consequence, Germany’s Ingrid Klimke, who had showjumped clear, moved up to silver.
Britain’s team hopes were extinguished on cross-country day when Pippa Funnell had a stop and Lucy Wiegersma a fall. This is the first time Britain has returned without a team medal from a European Eventing Championship since 1993.
“Things have not gone our way,” said Britain’s Tina Cook. “Obviously we are disappointed – we came here with hopes of a team medal. We have lots of super younger riders coming through, and we have great young horses being produced at home. People might think that the Germans are miles ahead of us but we are really not that far away.”
William commented on his bronze: “I’m delighted to get a medal. Chilli jumped so well, I thought he wasn’t going to touch a fence but that’s how it goes, and I am lucky to get a bronze. I am thrilled with him.”
Gold: Germany, 116.2pen
Silver: Sweden, 134pen
Bronze: France, 151.6pen
Great Britain: sixth
Gold: Michael Jung (GER), Halnuke FBW, 32.6pen
Silver: Ingrid Klimke (GER), 39.4pen
Bronze: William Fox-Pitt (GBR), Chilli Morning, 40.6pen
13th Tina Cook (GBR), Miners Frolic, 47.4pen
35th Izzy Taylor (GBR), KBIS Briarland Matilda, 74.6pen
40th Pippa Funnell (GBR), Mirage D’Elle, 92.6pen
Don’t miss Thursday’s H&H for our full 10-page special report, including full analysis and comments from ground jury member Christian Landolt, British team rider Tina Cook and former European champion Ian Stark.