British riders bring the event to a close in style with one gold and two silver medals.
|A thrilling week in Rotterdam came to a close in style for Team GBR as they claimed three medals on the final day to bring their tally for the week to seven.
The final day’s competition got off to the perfect start when Georgia Wilson claimed gold in the Para Dressage Grade II Freestyle, thanks to a personal best score of 78.187%. She beat the current Paralympic champion, Pepo Puch, into second place. This was her third medal of these championships. “I was hoping to bring something home,” she said, “but I couldn’t dream I would get gold and two silvers [in the individual and team tests].”
The Para Arena has been fertile ground for Team GBR this week, and Sophie Wells MBE picked up her third silver medal of the week in the Grade V Freestyle. Combined with her medals in the team and individual competition earlier this week, this currently leaves her with an astonishing 32 medals in senior competitions for the current World Champion. After the test, she paid tribute to her horse, C Fatal Attraction: “I know he’s my little superstar. I wouldn’t have any other horse at these championships and I’m enormously grateful to his owner Charlotte Hogg.”
The day was rounded off with silver for Ben Maher MBE in the individual showjumping final. He and Explosion W have had an exceptional few days here, only dropping one pole on the penultimate fence of his final round in the Rotterdam Arena. Ben was also part of the showjumping team that won bronze earlier in the week, alongside Scott Brash, Amanda Derbyshire and Holly Smith – and with it booked a place for Team GBR’s showjumping team at the Tokyo Olympics next summer. Afterwards, Ben paid tribute to his horse, Explosion W: “He’s jumped amazingly all week. All of the horses here deserved to win.” He also praised the gold-medallist, and Ben’s teammate in the Global Champions League London Knights team, Martin Fuchs: “I’m very happy for Martin. If anyone has to beat me, I’m happy it’s him.”
Today’s results mean that Team GBR have won a total of seven medals at the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam. Chef de Mission Vikki Underwood said “This has been one of the most exciting weeks of my life, and I couldn’t be more proud of the team. We had three new riders in the para-equestrian dressage and they demonstrated such confidence and focus. Our jumpers not only secured Olympic qualification but a team medal – we could not have asked for any more. And we have had personal bests from our dressage riders, including Gareth Hughes who has just blown me away.”
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