France won the team gold in the Rio Olympics eventing this morning, pulling up from third overnight.
Astier Nicolas (Piaf De B’Neville) and Thibaut Vallette (Qing Du Briot) both delivered clears. Mathieu Lemoine (Bart L) had the last two fences down, but with other nations also suffering problems, they won by 3.8 penalties.
“I’m really happy with my horse — he’s a great jumper and I would have been shocked if he’d had any penalties,” said Thibaut after jumping.
Germany moved up from fourth overnight to take team silver when Michael Jung and Sam FBW, Ingrid Klimke (Hale Bob OLD) and Sandra Auffarth (Opgun Louvo) all recorded clear rounds.
The Australians dropped to team bronze when Stuart Tinney and Pluto Mio had four fences down and individual leader Chris Burton racked up eight penalties with Santano II. Sam Griffiths went clear, which was instrumental in keeping the Aussies in the medals.
Michael is now leading going into the individual decider and poised to retain his crown from London 2012. Chris has dropped to third, while Astier Nicolas has moved up to sit in the individual silver position.
“Of course, I’m disappointed, but I just spoke to Sam and he said come and have a drink,” said Chris. “We’ll hydrate, make sure the horses are ok and re-focus for the individual competition.”
New Zealand were the big losers today when they sank from second to fourth. Clarke Johnstone’s clear with Balmoral Sensation was not enough to save them when Jonelle Price had two down with Faerie Dianimo and Mark Todd hit a disastrous four rails on Leonidas II.
“He’s never jumped like that before — he’s a funny, temperamental horse, but he’s been in big atmospheres before and never done that,” said Mark.
Classy clears for Britain’s quartet
Britain’s horses jumped brilliantly this morning and all left all the poles intact, with the team moving up from eighth to fifth.
Gemma Tattersall just had four time-faults on the Pebbles’ Syndicate’s Quicklook V.
“Thank god for that. She came out really well this morning and jumped a beautiful clear, so I’m really happy with her,” she said.
Kitty King had a great round with Jacqueline Owen, Diana Bown and Samantha Wilson’s Ceylor LAN.
“He jumped brilliantly and felt really fresh, which is a credit to our team in the stables — the grooms, vets and physios worked really hard on the horses last night,” she said.
Pippa Funnell said of her round on the late Carol Toliver’s Billy The Biz: “He’s a good boy and came out and jumped well today.”
William Fox-Pitt will progress to the individual round this afternoon in 18th place with Chris and Lisa Stone’s Chilli Morning.
“It’s all rather unimportant now, but the horses did jump well and it’s good to finish on a good note,” he said.
Twenty-five will jump again at 2pm local time (6pm British time) for the individual medals — Pippa Funnell has just missed the cut by finishing 26th. Follow here.