The British team has managed its third top three finish in a row in this year’s Meydan FEI Nations Cup but it was a dramatic third leg at St Gallen, Switzerland this afternoon (4 June).
Holding ground conditions after heavy rain and a tight time allowance both contributed to some cricket scores among the 10 competing nations.
But France and Germany both fielded their top riders and absolutely annihilated the opposition.
So much so that neither of their anchormen was required to jump in the second round — France had ensured first place on a team score of eight and couldn’t be beaten and Germany were safely runners-up on 13pen.
Great Britain came into the second round in third position but were down to three men after Michael Whitaker withdrew GIG Amai due to an injury.
Despite the enormous pressure of every score counting, Britain’s remaining three riders put in exceptional performances.
Peter Charles has been a lynchpin in each of the three Nations Cups so far this season with Murka’s Pom D’Ami and had an unlucky four faults at the final oxer after a clear jumping round (with one time-penalty) earlier in the day.
John Whitaker riding Rebecca Stone’s Peppermill and Ben Maher with his own and Mike and Emma Phillips’s Robin Hood W both went clear over the challenging 12-fence track, thus securing third place for Team GB.
Ireland came from behind to finish a very creditable fourth.
This leaves 2009 winners France heading the overall leader board but Great Britain remains in second place with five legs to go. Roll on Rotterdam!
1. France (8 penalties)
2. Germany (13)
3. Great Britain (19)
– Peter Charles (Murka’s Pom D’Ami) 1/4
– Ben Maher (Robin Hood W) 9/0
– Michael Whitaker (GIG Amai) 17/DNS
– John Whitaker (Peppermill) 5/0
4. Ireland (28)
– Shane Breen (Carmena Z) 5/5
– Darragh Kenny (Obelix) 5/16
– Cian O’Connor (K Club Lady) 9/4
– Billy Twomey (Je T’Aime Flamenco) 9/0
5. Switzerland (30)
6. Spain (32)
7. USA (39)
8. The Netherlands (42)
Don’t miss next week’s H&H for full report and pictures from St Gallen