Great Britain’s eventers make history at European Championships

British riders dominate podium places in Switzerland.

Andrew Baldock
Sunday 26 September 2021 17:51
Ros Canter helped Britain make history (Steve Parsons/PA)
Ros Canter helped Britain make history (Steve Parsons/PA)

Great Britain’s eventers made history as they produced a spectacular performance to win team and individual gold at the European Championships in Switzerland

A quartet of Nicola Wilson Piggy March, Kitty King and reigning world champion Ros Canter became the first all-female team to take European gold.

And British riders also swept the board individually, with Wilson and JL Dublin collecting gold, March finishing second aboard Brookfield Inocent and non-team member Sarah Bullimore taking third with Corouet.

Britain now hold Olympic, world and European team crowns, with their latest success arriving just less than two months after Laura Collett, Tom McEwen and Oliver Townend combined to land gold in Tokyo.

A major team title treble has only been achieved on two previous occasions.

And not since 1991 have Britain provided all three European podium finishers, when Ian Stark, Richard Walker and Karen Straker filled the medal places.

Britain delivered a final team score of 73.1 penalties, more than 13 clear of runners-up Germany, with Sweden capturing bronze.

Wilson, meanwhile, finished on her dressage score of 20.9 in Avenches to secure European glory nine years after she helped Britain secure team silver at London 2012.

The 44-year-old, who is based in North Yorkshire, became the first British European individual champion since Tina Cook triumphed at Fontainebleau in France 12 years ago, with other British winners including Zara Tindall, Pippa Funnell and Virginia Leng.

March, meanwhile, captured a silver medal after narrowly missing out on Tokyo Olympics team selection, adding to a rich collection that also includes the 2019 Badminton title.

Wilson said: “It has been a fantastic week for all of the Brits It is a dream come true.

“He is a fabulous horse, and for him to finish on top of the podium in his first championship, I am pinching myself.

“He felt class in all three phases. I knew he could jump well, but you just do not know what is going to happen with pressure and nerves.

“But he was just phenomenal in there. He was cool as a cucumber, off we went, and it was an absolute pleasure to ride him.”

March added: “I think my horse is one of the best horses in the world, and it is exciting for the future. What a week – you couldn’t write it.”

And bronze medallist Bullimore said: “I am quite emotional. It has taken me 10 years to get here, and to achieve this is a major thing on a horse we bred ourselves. It’s really special.”