‘The morning after the night before’ takes on a whole new meaning at a three-day event, and especially at one in which the ground and terrain played as important a part as it did here at the European Championships at Haras du Pin yesterday. We saw an afternoon full of serious exertions, tired horses, and some near misses that could have led to any number of knocks, bumps, and bruises — and so all of us approached this morning’s final horse inspection with no small amount of trepidation.
Nine nations and 37 competitors — down from 38 after the withdrawal of Belgium’s Karin Donckers and Fletcha van’t Verahof, which will have no effect on the Belgian’s qualification efforts for Paris — came forward to present in front of the ground jury of President Judy Hancock of Great Britain, Katrin Eichinger-Kniely of Austria, and Seppo Laine of Finland for the final time this week.
But the scenes on the strip weren’t at all what you might, fairly, have imagined: all 37 remaining horses looked fit, well, and ready to tackle the final day of sport, which meant that every one of them was accepted on the spot, and at the end of the horse inspection, one very bored holding box vet simply shrugged and went off in search of the first grand biere of the day.*
(*This is a guess, and also a wild inaccuracy, probably.)
Now, we’re looking ahead to the start of the showjumping, which begins at 12.00 p.m. local time (11.00 a.m. BST/6.00 a.m. EST) with the first 13 riders, and will resume at 2.00 p.m. (1.00 p.m. BST/8.00 a.m. EST) with the top 25. Currently, we have a decisive lead for Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo, who go into the final phase on 21.3 — two rails and four seconds ahead of second-placed Kitty King and Vendredi Biats, who themselves don’t have a rail in hand over Sandra Auffarth and Viamant du Matz. Similarly, in the team stakes, the Brits are well out ahead with six rails in hand over Germany, who are just 0.2 penalties ahead of France, currently sitting in bronze. You can check out the course map here, and start times are available here.
We’ll be bringing you the full story — and news on our new European Champions — shortly thereafter, so keep it locked on EN!
Autor Tilly Berendt