A fairytale week at the European Championships with winning Team Gold putting Team GB back at the top. The dream was completed by James and Jo Lamberts ‘ Bulana’ and I winning Individual Bronze.
The Team spirit within the squad of 6 riders and support team was very special and 3 out of 4 Team members produced personal best results to help the Team win Gold by a convincing margin.
Bulana has just got better and better all year. Every outing this season has produced a PB and this week was no different. She felt physically and mentally very good going into the Championships and although I didnt have a position in mind I knew that we were capable of a good performance, if all went to plan. She is a very special horse and we are beginning to develop a very strong partnership, we both believed in each other.
For a number of Championships I have been lucky enough to be the pathfinder for the Team and this was the first time for me to be anchorman and last to go. It is such an honour riding in a team but it is quite nerve wracking waiting for our turn as time goes quite slowly! Bulana (Berry) was so incredibly settled, confident and rideable in the dressage to lie 6th after the first phase of the competition. She made us all smile by showing her competitive brain by producing a lovely test and then as she was leaving the Main Arena letting out a massive buck as she was clearly pleased with herself and looking forward to the next phase, the cross country.
The cross country walked a true Championship course from start to finish, with a lot of technical combinations. It became apparent early on that it wasn’t going to be a dressage competition, which it proved not to be.Team riders Ros Canter and Tina Cook both produced beautiful rounds and I was hugely relieved and delighted with Bulanas performance for her first Championships, she was brave, honest and accurate helping to put the team in Gold position overnight and us in Individual 4th place.
Going into the Show Jumping the team had two fences in hand to keep Gold but thankfully this margin was not required. Ros, Tina and I all producing clear rounds taking Team Gold and me Individual Bronze.
What a week, I think I will be pinching myself for a long time to come!
Thank you to Ruth Asquith for looking after Berry so beautifully and to all within Team GB and UK Sport for helping make this possible