Equestrianism: Phillips sets another royal standard as Britain collect gold

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The Independent Online

France took the silver, over 40 penalties adrift, overtaking Germany in the final hour.

Phillips could afford a single error in yesterday's final show jumping without relinquishing the individual lead she had established on her chestnut mount, Toytown, with a heroic clear round in torrential rain during Saturday's cross-country.

The atmosphere was nevertheless electric as Toytown tapped show jumping poles without dislodging any of them to complete a clear round. "I could hear Toytown tapping some, and this helped me to concentrate even more," Phillips said. "But the crowd were wonderful and supportive, urging me on."

She had one fence in hand over her team colleague William Fox-Pitt on Tamarillo in second, and Germany's Ingrid Klimke on Sleep Late in third, who had both gone clear.

However, she did not need it, producing a skilfully judged clear round inside the time. Her mother won the individual event at Burghley in 1971, and Phillips's father, Captain Mark Phillips, won Olympic team gold in 1972. The Princess Royal presented the medals yesterday and told her daughter: "Fantastic."

Pippa Funnell, a former double European champion, dropped from second to ninth when Ensign made two mistakes.

The team of Phillips, Fox-Pitt, Jeanette Brakewell on the durable 17-year-old Over To You and Leslie Law (who withdrew Shear L'Eau before yesterday's show jumping) were greatly appreciative of the huge home crowds whose vociferous encouragement gave the whole team a lift.

Phillips was also grateful for the help of her team-mates. "It has always been a massive dream to win gold like this. It is so bizarre to think I have one more than my mother, but it is even better to have a team gold.

She added: "It has been an honour and a privilege to ride with Jeanette Brakewell [Over To You], William and Leslie Law [Shear L'Eau]."

FEI BLENHEIM PETPLAN EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIPS (Woodstock, Oxon): Final results: 1 Toytown (Z Phillips, GB) 38.0 penalties; 2 Tamarillo (W Fox-Pitt, GB) 44.3; 3 Sleep Late (I Klimke, Ger) 45.2; 4 Gormley (K Donckers, Bel) 46.7; 5 Air Jordan (F Ostholt, Ger) 47.4; 6 Ypaja Karuso (P Pantsu, Fin) 47.8; 7 FRH Serve Well (A Dibowski, Ger) 48.3; 8 Expo Du Moulin (A Boiteau, Fr) 48.5; 9 Ensign (P Funnell, GB) 50.6; 10 Escape Lane (D Willefert, Fr) 51.0. Teams: 1 Great Britain 136.5 penalties; 2 France 170.2; 3 Germany 181.9; 4 Sweden 192.9; 5 Italy 201.7; 6 Belgium 205.0; 7 Ireland 240.5; 8 Poland 367.5.

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