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Britain end fourth at eventing World Championships 0.2pen off bronze

  • Defending champions Britain finished just off the podium at the eventing World Championships, taking fourth place by just 0.2 of a penalty, with Germany, the US and New Zealand taking the top three spots.

    The team was in bronze position going into Sunday’s showjumping, and rose at one point to lead, in an afternoon that encompassed all the ups and downs of horse sport.

    After Laura Collett and London 52’s four-fault round this morning, Tom McEwen and Toledo De Kerser kicked off the afternoon’s action with the same score.

    “Just some weeks aren’t your weeks,” Tom said after his round. “He jumped brilliantly, just caught out by a very clever course, and that’s all. He was super. He’s had a great week, he’s a little bit over-enthusiastic but he’s been phenomenal. [I’ve] absolutely loved it.”

    Ros Canter and the 10-year-old championship debutant Lordships Graffalo jumped a super clear that meant they finished in fourth place individually.

    “It was very nerve-racking today; I can’t say I enjoyed it at all!” said Ros. “But he’s been phenomenal all week, hasn’t he? And he certainly needs this atmosphere. He thrives on it.

    “It was great that the person before [me] went clear and everybody cheered because it just bought him up a little bit in a nice way. He just relishes this kind of atmosphere so I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

    Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class went in knowing a clear would mean the eventing World Championships gold medal for Britain, but luck was not on their side and four fences fell.

    “We were so close and at the end, so far,” said British team trainer Chris Bartle. “The second, third and fourth to be split by one mark, less than one mark, is just incredible and okay, I take my hat off to the other guys. They didn’t make as many mistakes as we made so the winner has done the best job. And congratulations to my old friends the Germans. I feel very happy for them, of course, if we couldn’t get that gold medal, but at least we came here to qualify for Paris and we’ve done that, that was a primary goal.”

    On the week’s ups and downs, he added: “That’s what it should be about; this sport should be exciting. Sport is nothing if not about what-if, what-if, what if? So, when it’s so close it’s disappointing, no doubt about it. But at the same time, it’s goal number one ticked, and we’ll be back again next year, and hopefully, we’ll be topping the podium.

    “And as well, you have to admire their partnerships. There’s Ros with her horse that she brought through from a three-year-old. I’m obviously very close to Ros, very close to Yas because I train them at home but the other guys, Tom, Laura and Oliver, they’ve just been a great gang to to work with, coach and so on. And we’ve got lots more in us.”

    Eventing World Championships final team scores

    Gold: Germany – 95.2

    Silver: US – 100.3

    Bronze: New Zealand – 100.7

    Fourth: Great Britain – 100.9

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