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Britain Retains European Title

British Event Team takes gold - Funnell clinches individual bronze

Britain has retained the title of European Champions at the Sport Ireland IFG European Championships at Punchestown in Ireland (September 18-21). The British team of Leslie Law, Jeanette Brakewell, Pippa Funnell and William Fox-Pitt finished with an advantage of 12.6 penalties over second placed France, with Belgium more than 30 penalties adrift in third.

Pippa Funnell made a brave bid to defend her individual title but had to settle for a bronze medal behind the new European Champion, 23 year old Nicolas Touzaint from France, who led throughout the competition on the nine year old grey Galan de Sauvagere.

Funnell was unable to ride Supreme Rock, on whom she had won her previous two European titles, due to a minor injury to the horse which prompted her to rest him until next year. The inexperienced ten year old Walk On Star did not let her down, moving up from fifth place at the end of the cross country phase to clinch a bronze medal with a superb clear round in the final show jumping phase.

The British team led after the dressage and consolidated their lead after the cross country phase on Saturday, despite Brakewell's elimination following a fall at one of the water complexes. This left Funnell and Fox-Pitt with no margin for error and they responded superbly, jumping safely and clear around the 23 fence course with only a few time penalties to add to their dressage scores.

Earlier, Law had performed the ideal pathfinder's role with a brilliant clear on Shear L'Eau to finish on the optimum time, the only rider to complete the cross country phase without any time penalties.

Britain went into the final show jumping phase today with a lead of 16.6 penalties over second placed France, giving them just over four fences in hand of their closest rivals. With clear rounds hard to come by the British riders held their nerve and added only 12 penalties to their team score, Leslie Law making sure of the gold medal with just one fence down on Shear L'Eau.

Law finished in fourth place, with Fox-Pitt in eighth. Mary King, riding as an individual for Britain, finished in fifth place after one fence down in the show jumping.




1 Great Britain 147.60
2 France 160.20
3 Belgium 196.00


1 Nicolas Touzaint , Galan de Sauvagere (FRA) 35.00
2 Linda Algotsson, Stand By Me (SWE) 40.80
3 Pippa Funnell, Walk On Star (GBR) 44.40

Other British riders:

4 Leslie Law, Shear L'Eau 47.20
5 Mary King, King Solomon III 49.40
8 William Fox-Pitt, Moon Man 56.00
37 Kristina Cook, Captain Christy 119.20


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