Nicola Wilson was the final British rider to enter the arena this afternoon on James and Jo Lambert’s Bulana and, despite having two fences in hand to secure team gold for GB, Nicola pulled off a skilfully ridden clear round on the black mare to confirm GB as the 2017 European Champions.
Nicola went into the show jumping phase in individual fourth place but 12 faults from third placed Sara Algotsson Ostholt (SWE) moved Nicola up the leader board to eventually take the individual bronze medal on a score of 35.5. Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and Michael Jung both produced clear rounds to take the gold and silver medal respectively.
An ecstatic Nicola commented after her show jumping round; “I think I’m still pinching myself. I’m delighted with how Bulana has been this season and she’s been a superstar all week. She’s such a special horse and has just been fantastic this championships. I just can’t thank everyone enough, and I’m so pleased for her owners James and Jo Lambert. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have her, she’s a great friend.
“It’s just been amazing. I feel so incredibly lucky – we’ve had fantastic support from the grooms and owners this week from start to finish.”
All three of the British team riders put in fantastic clear rounds in the show jumping to ensure Britain’s place at the top of the team results. GB stalwart Tina Cook finished in individual fourth place on the young gelding Billy The Red (38.2 penalties), owned by Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson, and Championship debutant Ros Canter gave a masterful display on her own and Caroline Moore’s Allstar B to finish fifth in the individual rankings (40.2 penalties).
Tina added; “We were really wanting that gold, it’s been a few years and it’s fantastic to be back in this position. It’s been such a strong team performance all week and has just been fantastic. I’m so pleased with Billy The Red, he is such an exciting horse for the future. There have been some amazing riders and horses here, and our support team have just been so brilliant this week.”
Senior Championships first timer Ros said; “To be surrounded by this team and the whole of the GB team has just been fantastic. I don’t think it’s still really sunk in yet. It’s so exciting to be part of this team, with all their experience around me and it’s so special for us all. The excitement of it all is just amazing.”
Gemma Tattersall and The Pebbles Syndicate’s charismatic grey mare Quicklook V, collected eight jumping faults to complete inside the top 10 in eighth place on 44.7 and Piggy French just tipped one fence on Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo to finish in 28th place with a score of 87.4.
Following her round Piggy said; “It’s been a nearly but not quite week. Today he just rolled a pole in the jumping but was super everywhere else. He’s really stepped up this week – he’s definitely had his biggest year yet and he’s a very exciting horse; there’s lots to look forward to.”
Gemma commented; “It’s obviously not what I was hoping for. I was really pleased with how she jumped in there, I don’t know what happened at those fences but I’m very happy with her and for the British team.”
Team pathfinder Oliver Townend withdrew Angela Hislop’s Cooley SRS ahead of this morning’s Final Horse Inspection.
With Great Britain taking the team gold on 113.9 penalties, Germany were left in the silver medal position on 123.00 and Sweden bronze with 148.4 penalties.