Great Britain’s hope for world championship glory has come to an end as the squad failed to reach the final 10 of the team jumping at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
Thirty-two teams jumped in Wednesday’s round and the British squad of Michael Whitaker (Viking), Joe Clee (Utamaro D’Ecaussines), Spencer Roe (Wonder Why) and Scott Brash (Hello Sanctos) finished 18th. Michael and Joe produced 12-fault rounds, 21-year-old Spencer added eight and anchorman Scott finished with four faults.
“These things go in cycles and we had a fantastic cycle with the Europeans , Olympics , Europeans  in the other part of the cycle and the same thing has happened to Germany,” said Great Britain’s performance manager Rob Hoekstra. “It’s disappointing, but there are also some real positives — Spencer rode fantastically and Joe’s horse is a bit inexperienced, but finished up really well.
“It was disappointing for Michael, things really didn’t work out. But people know we’ve lost a lot of our top horses over the last few months — it just shows we have a small team of championship horses to choose from.”
Only the top 10 teams progress to the next round on Thursday and the Netherlands have moved up to the gold medal position with USA in silver and Germany third. Ireland go through in eighth.
Individually, Frenchman Patrice Delaveau holds the lead, with Beezie Madden (USA) in second and Rolf-Goran Bengtsson third. The top 50 individual riders continue after today and only Scott Brash makes the cut for Great Britain, in 36th position.
Don’t miss the full report from the WEG showjumping and the full reaction from the British team in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound, out 11 September.