Coverage of the 2011 European Team Championships in Madrid. Great Britain's team includes Nick Skelton and Michael Whitaker, who each boast three European gold medals.
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I don't want to make you jealous, but they are having a very hot
September in Spain. Temperatures in Madrid are steaming at 40 degrees,
but it is much cooler at one of the largest sporting clubs in Europe.
It has 27,000 members. It is spread over 214 Heck tears, and those
members can choose from golf on a course designed by Seve Ballesteros,
football, swimming, tennis, and ordinarily, they would also be
riding in the woods. But not this weekend, because this place has
The European showjumping championships have come to town. 17
nations of Europe's very best riders. We will show you the final
round of the team jumping medals, and this is where they will ride
into the heat of the action. It would be a cliche to say that the
Great Britain team is made up of youth and experience, but in this
case it is true. And when I say experience, for a couple of them, I
mean decades. And they say that with age comes wisdom, but it also
brings aching bones. I broke a leg, to collarbones, to cartilage
replacements, a hit replacement, a broken neck, a bicep repair and a
rotator disc. Apart from that, I'm good. So why unearth you keep doing
this? Well, that's what I like to do. If you've got the horse, you
are keen to do it. If they weren't up to the Olympic standard will
good enough, you are just pushing up hill. Talk to me about him.
really spooky with other horses, very nervous. Another comes towards
him, he will dark, but the many egos in the rink he is completely
concentrated -- the minute he goes in the ring. Riding on the British
team for the first time is 40-year- old Guy Williams, a man in form,
and exceptionally driven. I am very competitive and sometimes I have to
put a brake on myself because you are playing for big money and big
prizes and I have to tone it down. Before I was a bit gung-ho and I
didn't have a real classic technique. I ride from the high a
lot more. Maybe I have to tone it down a little bit and hopefully I
will get better and better. youngest member of the team at 28
is the highest ranked British rider in the world, Ben Maher. I think I
still have a lot to learn. I'm learning new things every day, but
it is quite an inexperienced horse I have this week. I had him from
the very beginning, so he knows all about me and I know all about him,
but at this level it takes a year or two to gel that combination
together to maybe win an individual or team a medal. I think with
myself and my horse, I am lacking that final piece of experience that
hopefully I can gain this week ready for London. And it is always
difficult for show jumpers, the difference between riding at the
shows that only lots of money and riding for Great Britain which
isn't going to earn you a lot of money. Where do your priorities
lie? The priority is always with your country. I think we have a
great support team around us and when we come to these championships
we have physiotherapists for the riders and horses, and effects,
secretaries, team chefs and we come as a big team. It has brought all
the riders together as well and we are fighting a lot more to try and
win a medal, and I think that changes everybody's attitude
towards competition, where we are prepared to sacrifice some bigger
competitions for prize money if we can come and win. And what do you
say about John Whitaker? He is 56, has been riding at the top level
for up over 30 years, an Olympic silver medal, a world championship
silver medal and won both team and individual gold medals at the
European Championships. He is partnered with Fourteen-year-old
Peppermill. He is quite unique that we can be competitive at this age.
I'm still hungry. If I keep enjoying it, I will carry on.
do you think British showjumping is right now? A I think we are
stronger in depth than we have been for a while. We lost two, Michael
and Robert Smith before the championships, and we have replaced
them with really good able riders. That wouldn't have happened a few
years ago. What has made the difference? Horsepower is the
difference, but it is getting good horses in the first place. The
foreign riders have a lot of backing behind them to keep their
horses and buy them in the first place. I think it boils down to
that a little bit, getting the good horses in the country and keeping
them. We will see the jumpers in action shortly, but the most
improved performances from British riders have come in the sport of
dressage. A first-ever gold medal at the team, and we have been to
How much does all the success mean to you and the team? It was over 20
years of waiting, and finally came through. For the team, it was
fantastic. I think we have the whole nation, the dressage
enthusiasts, on the edge of their seed. It was fantastic to be part
of it when it happened because I have been part of April Long Time
and I have been last on several occasions, so to actually finally
seeing what it turned into was amazing. I am so lucky with Utopia,
who is a fantastic horse. He scored over 48 scores of 10 in the
European Championships. I have struggled to get just one of them
in 20 years, so I did my last extended trot, and unbeknown to me
seven and came up across the board. As I turned up the final centre
line I had a lot of noise, gasps and laughter and I thought maybe my
tail coat had popped open or there was a dog behind me in the arena. I
started looking around and then I thought, I've just got some tens!
That is what they are laughing at. That is when I first realised I had
managed to get back great score. Does that mean the level of
expectation for you and the team has gone up? Definitely. Suddenly
we have some combinations that in the last two years, Laura has been
the individual medallist, and suddenly to have three people and
possibly more that I individual medal hopefuls as well, it is
unheard of. It is an absolutely brilliant time for British dressage.
You're not worried in these days with dressage horses exchanging
hands for significant sums of money that somebody might not make an
offer? That is always a worry. much you think Utopia is worth?
not telling you that, somebody might operate. I.M. Read he is
treated like a family pet. -- I have read. I always brought him up
to be like the others. He travels next door to other horses and has
to learn to do that. They remind he's so young. I didn't realise his
talent was as amazing as it was. Even my granny could jump up on him
and be safe. What would it mean to you to win a gold medal at London?
I come from a family that is not that Horsey. There are so many
people who have been part of the success. I would like it for
everybody in the yard and the owners. And I would like it for
British dressage because it is a nation of horse lovers and it is
something I think everybody would Described Charlotte? She is now see,
she can only talk to me in the afternoon, she is great with the
horses and she will win a gold medal, no doubt. I wish her all the
best, because she deserves it and the horse is, I think, one of the
best in the world. This was my first year of the Grand Prix, and
my horses as well, so if to get all the way from the beginning, I did
my first one in January and then got myself to the Europeans and
then to get a gold medal with the team was pretty amazing. I saw you
with him earlier today. Giving him a bit of a shave. He had his little
shave because he had a holiday. She has to be a proper wife to him.
Getting a gold medal, the championships have been going on
for 25 years and it's our first ever gold, so for the team, what an
experience. I said to Charlotte, well, I have waited 20 years and
you have just walked out in six months and got one. Charlotte, this
is very strange, because four years ago you only came to help out for a
few days here. Yes, I started having lessons with Carl and I had
four and he asked if I could do a ten-day cover. I thought, wow, 10
days with Karl, an amazing opportunity. I did my 10 days and
never went home. Couldn't get rid of her. She has taken all my horses,
or my rides. I've lost the lot. In Rotterdam I cried like a baby when
she did her test. It was such a relief and I was very proud.
asked why he was crying, and the Senate was amazing. Then I started
crying. It was very emotional. your mind flickered forward to next
year? Absolutely. We are aiming to get that gold now. That is the sort
of chap we like. I was really determined for the gold at the
Europeans, and I know our team is strong enough to get the gold at
the Olympics. Fingers crossed everything stays good and the
horses are well and we are all well. We should get that goal. You have
to describe him in 10 seconds. is brilliant, everybody wants to
watch Carl. He makes dressage dressage. For me, he is the best.
How many seconds was that? You see, it works better when you like each
other. Unprecedented success for British dressage riders. So here we
go with the action, despite it being early evening, still roasting
hot. The teams will be jumping in reverse order. They have already
had two rounds. At the moment, Great Britain just out of the
medals, but the team is led by a man who so far this week has been
Skelton, on a Carlo, and three times he has won a team medal. 85,
87, 89. He said himself that he it is over 20 years later with this
lovely horse, Carlo, two clear rounds so far. Can he make it a
third and really make it count to yesterday. Nick was riding for his
life yesterday. Absolutely on top form. And he seems to be so focused
very hot conditions here. This horse, with a lot of blood and
energy. Let's hope he can come out the combination. Moving round the
corner, and he should be OK for bit close. That is where the horses
such a trial. Coming to the triple away with it. A big jump out, just
the last fence. Ah yes! Nick has thrown up the gauntlet down, for
not only 18 a medal, but maybe an individual medal as well. He stays
on the individual score of 1.04. A brilliant clear round on the first
day. He is lying third individually, so he will stay at least there, but
could he climb higher? Britain has got the start they want on this
team final day. These two, Nick and Carlo, they are made for each other.
They are both drivers. Nikki so on top of his game at the moment. He
has been through all the problems with his No Can -- broken neck and
hip replacement. And there he is, riding better than ever. He is a
Real bionic man these days. Brilliant. When you think about it,
there are two of the team that won those three European titles on the
trot, John Whitaker, Nick Skelton and Michael Whitaker was on the
team, and they are still writing contention and riding as well as
The work Nick puts in behind the scenes. He produced that horse for
today perfectly. Well, Nick Skelton is 53. This man
is 63. You talk about Nick Skelton being bionic, this man is super
bionic. He is right at the top of his game still. He is hard to beat.
He is ranked 33 in the world. Nick Skelton 35 in the world and this
man's career also goes back into the 80s and further back because he
won the World Title back in Dublin in 1982. He won numerous European
championship medals, two bronze Olympic medals in Seoul in 1988 and
Barcelona in 1992. He has been part of French success throughout that
period of time. An amazing man. This is a descent horse, too, Andy.
Just had one fence down and a time fault yesterday. He looked capable
of jumping a clear round. And what a stylish rider he is. His
horse is always flowing forward. There is not much of him, he is a
fitness freak. He does yoga behind the scenes and he keeps himself
very slim and his horses go forward beautifully balanced.
Well, let's just remind you that the team situation is that France
are ahead of Britain by less than a fence. So this is a key round if
Britain is going to be in there A lovely round. A lovey, lovely
round. France who have not won a European title for more than 20
years, quite amazing. They've certainly got a team here hol be
reckon - who will be reckoned with, but whether they will climb to a
European title this afternoon. was at his best. He had a silly
fence yesterday, but never looked like having one today. Clean as a
hissle. He got -- whistle today. What an incredible sport. There he
Nick, let's get your reaction? was fabulous. I was slow to the
triple bar and when I led him, I had to lead him a bit. Once I
jumped the double, I had an extra one. I knew he would come up and
jump that one well as long as I held him well.
He is class? He jumped flawless. He didn't put a foot wrong. He has to
keep doing it in two more rounds. In In terms of the team, you put
them in a very, very strong position? The first French jumped
clear and you know, we're just behind them. We are fighting for a
bronze. We could have done with them having a fence down, but there
second place. The last time they won the title was in 2005. 2005 in
Italy. And this now is the first jump.
He is riding the lovely grey. He is very, very capable. He had two down
yesterday. Germany who were leading, but yesterday let the Dutch
overtake them. They are less than a fence behind
the the Dutch. You see how effortless he is here. He started
like that and booted a couple of fences out.
This stallion, such a gorgeous type, he really does have masses amount
of scope and talent. If he is on form, he can make mince meat of
this course. He started well there. Now, this
next line, a triple bar, got to stretch here.
We haven't had the Germans in top form on the Nations Cup series, but
they have been saving themselves for this. They would love to win
this title back and they're right in there and suddenly we're turning
the temperature up with these clear rounds, Andy? We're seeing more
clear rounds and the water is obviously one factor. The riders
know the course. They know what to expect. They know how the distances
are going to ride. A gorgeous horse. He looked like he
should have jumped clear, but made a number of bad mistakes. He never
looked like doing that today. A big overnight Last Night. Again another
man with huge experience a couple of years he had a star of a horse
called Tom Boy who was sold to the United States of America and one
thought his chances of an Olympic Games or a European Championships
might have gone, but this mare was waiting in the wings and she has
been consistent. The team manager, a very shrewd managerment they won
three -- manager. They won three of the nation Cups. He looked the hot
team of Europe. But over the last few competitions, they have eased
front of the Germans. There is another gone.
Yes, the back end not quite free behind.
At this level they have to let the back end go.
He worked hard to get out over that German's stranglehold by winning
the World Title and beating the Germans on their home ground and
then they won the Europeans and they have been battling this out
ever since, haven't they? Just watching Eric, he had a couple of
fences down with the back legs. Whether this horse is just slightly
sore after yesterday. He will be disappointed with that.
Now for Ireland. Another from the United States of America actually
Nicola Fitzgibbon. Nicola who has been with the Irish team for the
first summer this time. A big powerful jumping horse. She has a
wonderful record in North America, but this is putting her under
pressure. She yesterday was the discard score for the Irish.
had 21 faults yesterday. the vertical after the water and
didn't manage it and she is struggling a bit here.
Really fighting down the line to the double. One the balance has
gone, the horse gets it wrong. No chance at all.
One has to say it is not looking a good afternoon for Ireland at the
vertical. From then on after jumping the water, he got strong.
Nowhere near jumping either part of that double and leaning all over
towards the entrance, the last fence. Took that one out. There is
the double again. Hit both parts really hard.
Well that really is disappointing Now we have Great Britain's second
rider, Guy Williams. It has been a difficult week for him. He is
looking to improve on that in his fourth, less than a fence behind
the third placed team, France. A clear for Nick Skelton.
A clear for France. Now it is round two of that battle and it is
Britain, Guy Williams. The first championship. Nick Skelton felt the
course was jumping a shade easier and he would have conveyed that to
Guy Williams. A huge experience for this man. A big winner, of course,
not only at home but on the European circuit, but it is a
different ball game here. Really one felt that yesterday he was
finding it a difficult change to come to this level. He was the
discard score yesterday with three three fences down on Titus.
Well, in a sense, he is under less pressure today because yesterday's
round didn't really work out for him. In a way he has got nothing to
lose. If he can contribute with a clear round or four faults today,
that's going to be fantastic, but as you say, it didn't work out. He
had the first fence down. Thankfully, he hasn't had that
of horses than he ever had in his life. He has always been a very
hard-working man from Kent, of course. A huge opportunity if he
can grab it. He takes the forward strides. That's the option he took
yesterday. He has to be careful he doesn't get
strong into the double. Just getting him back. Oh
brilliantly ridden there. Just the last, he is a bit close...
brilliant ride. He might have got a time fault there, but don't worry
about that, that clear round is the important thing and that's a huge
boost for the British team and must take the pressure offer the last
two riders away a little bit. Absolutely. What Guy has done there,
because he had a bad round yesterday, if he was able to do
something in a sense that was a bonus and he has come come out and
ridden brilliantly and that could be valuable. Well done, Guy.
That's a huge plus for Britain. Make no mistake about that.
here is the very stylish horse for France. France have been
inconsistent, amazingly. They won the silver medal behind the
gemplans in the -- German in the worlds last year. On the first day
the French went well, but yesterday they dropped back, off the pace,
came a little closer to Great Britain. Britain putting the
pressure on now. Can France resist that pressure?
The French got off to a good start. absolutely is, what a talented
horse. So capable of jumping clear. He actually kicked the ball out and
made a sloppy mistake, but nowhere near it -- kicked ball -- kicked
of situation, she is called, stylish and very effective on this
goes, he makes a mark on the sport. Will he do it for the French this
afternoon? That was close. Just all -- can she get it under her? She
has done that. Just want to go. -- just one fence to go. France at the
moment answering every call from Britain. At the moment it is parity,
meaning France stay ahead. In fact they gained just one at a time
fault. The one thing you can say is that yesterday it was Guy Williams
and he has put us in with a good score that arguably strengthens the
case. The discard score for France was Kevin Staut, and he will come
as rider number three. Penelope there, or you can say, that was
class. She never looked like having a fault. Stylish, scope p, very
elegant. OK, from a British point of view, not what we wanted, but as
a spectacle, that was something to time I did a bit for the team.
you feel about -- a bit of pressure? Not really. Why did the
worst of it on the first two days so I thought I would concentrate
and do something for the team, and luckily he has jumped clear. I had
a time fault, but he jumped the fences. In terms of the weight the
week has gone, will you come out of this stronger? I don't think it
will affect me, it just annoys me I didn't get it to work earlier. A
horse took a couple of days to settle, but he is another source,
but we have jumped clear -- a Carsten-Otto Nagel, one of the
senior riders from Germany. But this is a dream horse. He was in
the winning a gold medal team in 1999. He really has not had a world
class horse since then, but this horse definitely is. Part of the
gold medal team in Kentucky and he has looked well here. Marco
Kutscher got Germany after way clean start. -- off to a clean
always seems to be within herself. And when she needs to do a little
bit more, there seems to be a lot of power in the tank to jump the
big fences. But she has got an for the German team, but this is
the man heading the individual leader board at the moment. Nick
Skelton currently adding the to work hard to get the five
strides and wait too near to the vertical. She got away with that.
But they you see the scope, she made the second part of the double
so effortless. She is so careful. It is a clear round for the second
time for the Germans. There is Marco Kutscher coming down and
Carsten-Otto Nagel says, yes, what a wonderful horse. She is the star
here. He stays on at 0.69 ahead of Nick Skelton on up 1.04. At the
moment it will be Carsten-Otto Nagel going into Sunday with the
best score at the start of the individual competition. It is
poetry in motion. Effortless, balance, comfortable. A little
snaffle in the mouth, but she does not fight for her head. What more
can you want from a show jumping horse? 13 years of age and as good
and Britain for the bronze, and it looks like Germany and the
Netherlands. Yes, we think you're pretty good as well. And it is the
young 23-year-old, Maikel Van Der Vleuten. He has been part of two of
the three Dutch victories on the senior Nations Cup this year. Very
talented. He was the discard score yesterday with nine. He will want
to do better than that. What we must do is the mathematics, with
the Netherlands going back, because if they do, Britain perhaps might
go up. That is a sum we must keep ability in the world. The French
Dalian, used a lot in Holland -- stallion, so it is almost like a
cross between a French and Dutch course. It shows how the studs have
taken the best. That is not a fence he would have expected. A lazy jump
into the combination, falling all over the back rail. This makes it
That is for certain. It puts them back on 11.42 and Germany into the
box seat. It now means that the Dutch are just under two fences
are going to have to count eight, and they are on 15.42 and within a
French -- a fence of Britain. Two riders to come from each team, game
on. How all this European Championship is swaying backwards
and forwards. It certainly is. That was quite dramatic. We really did
not expect three France's -- fences down from Michel Van Der Vleuten.
He seems to be worrying about something. Sometimes the horses
come out on the second day after jumping well on the day before,
maybe a bit of stiffness. Did not quite used the back end and did not
stretch for the combination. By the time they got to the last double,
not really leaving the for at all. -- before. After two riders from
spectator. It is amazing on the British team, John Whitaker, Nick
Skelton still going. Did you retire too soon? I know, I call them the
golden oldies. They have been riding together for a long time. We
learn the trade, all brought up together, and they still have it in
stock. Unfortunately there is not a lot coming along to knock them off
their perches. Let them keep going. Did you come along just for fun?
Yes. I follow Show jumping quite a bit and we were all on holiday in
Spain, so we jumped on the train just to watch a couple of days and
then we shall go back on holiday. Your son Robert could have been on
the team. He could have been, but the horse went lame and so did
Michael Whitaker's. Let's hope they are 100 % for next year, because if
those two are ready for the Olympics, and you see what we have
got here, then they have a really good strong squad of six to pick
from. Then it will be upwards and onwards. I think the gold medal is
in the back if they look after their horses a bit better. In the
back? I wish that were true. Thanks but if ever Ireland wanted a clear
round the two-star -- stop the slide they wanted from this man.
Shane Sweetnam on eight and Nicola Fitzgibbon on 20. Those were the
two scores recorded on the final team day. We had two down and a
time fault and he has set off a lot quicker today. Lantinus is a horse
with all the ability but frustrating. Just occasionally
untidy. With these modern jumps, just a slight dangling leg, the one
coming down, just not quite tight the strides to the vertical after
the water. And now it gets difficult for Denis Lynch. He has
to try and get it back here. Steady. well. It is not a clear round, but
just buy one at fault. -- et is just the one fault. Ireland won
the body high enough for the oxer he had down. And then Dennis wrote
his life down the last line. A huge improvement for him. Just one
unlucky fence. Now, will this man deliver Britain's challenge
further? It is, of course, Ben Maher, with his home-bred Triple X
three -- Triple X 111. The only problem he has at was the foot-
fault on the water yesterday. Nick Skelton was very vocal about how
unfair the water was and was one of the masterminds of perhaps
developing the change to the water jump today. Over half the field had
a foot on that. Can Ben Maher really sealed a medal prospect for
championship team. He is running close to the oxer. That was
surprising. Jumping so clean jumped ran for just the one time
fault will be so influential in the final tally. He is over the water
today. Beautifully written. Balance for the five strides. It is really
important he stays on just four four, because there Horse has
jumped so clean and so far. -- the horse. Britain will now have to
carry at least one up time fault, but it will depend on John Whitaker,
the last man. Let's have another look. Just clipping the front rail.
Triple X jumped extravagantly yesterday. Not quite jumping as
well today. A little bit tired, probably, in the heat. He is a
young horse, a big horse. Whether the effort he made yesterday has
had an impact on him. Just not quite as extravagant as yesterday,
but a good solid ground, four faults and could still be very
useful to help the team. The French at the moment have macro two clear
rounds from Michel Robert and Penelope Leprevost. Clinging on to
the bronze medal. But the Dutch are very close to them indeed. They
inconsistent this year. A little bit like the French team, you never
know what to expect. Yesterday, jumping a good round. He had the
of the horses have gone into it. You would expect him to jump it
today. Yeah, no problems at all.
I just noticed the shadows getting a bit longer.
Yes, just the light changing in the arena with the sun going down. Very
clean over the double, no problems with the time.. That shows why he
has been the world number one for the last year. France with three
clear rounds. They will stay for certain on 15.95. They now will
definitely win a medal. The question is whether it will be
silver or bronze? A very good performance.
You have got to hand it to Kevin, he hasn't had a good a year by his
standards as he would have liked. Under Under pressure will, he had
two fences down yesterday. He jumped a clear round. He kept his
nerve. He got the water. He has done everything right so the French,
they have come out today. They've jumped their three clear rounds.
Definitely, as you say, they're going to get a medal.
This horse done look small, but it is small. The Germans have jumped
yesterday. He has been in outstanding form all year and just
had the one time fault in yesterday's round.
He is one of those little horses, you look at him going around and
you don't realise he is small, he just has so much power and so much
stride. He made that combination doesn't need the extra stride, he
gets to the floor easily. They make a cool partnership. This
is the for the European title, to win it back.
Oh, she's had one. It is one fence down for Germany.
But it is still good enough to keep the Germans at the top of the
European championship team leaderboard. They are the champions.
Let's look at that. Jumped the first part so well. Got balance and
one fence you wouldn't expected to have the front rail coming out of
the ship and get a silver or a bronze for the Dutch? He really is
fighting that as they dropped off. This could be the deciding round of
going to win a medal, unless German, in fact Germany can't come unstuck
either. This is the key round whether Britain wins a medal.
Way he started off, it is looking like a stroll in the park.
A little bit of extra leg to jump the water. Still very much in the
comfort zone. A brilliant round in Rio. This
looks like London form, doesn't it? Well, here he is coming to the last,
still clear and he has jumped that inside the time. So the Dutch stop
the rot. It is not over yet for the dusmt they say -- Dutch, they stay
on 15.42, but the last man has to jump clear to achieve that so it is
not all over. That last round will be crucial for
the Dutch. He has jumped as effortless round as we have seen.
Just look at coming over the double there, classic shape, such a
stylish rider. Very stylish and very popular Billy
Twomey with Sue and Eddie Davis's Tinker's Serenade.
He needs to jump clear to stay ahead of Nick Skelton, but the
German mare all ready, will be the leader when the individuals starts
on Sunday. Now Ireland at the moment, they have eight, they want
to disguard the 20 from Nicola This is an interesting horse to
watch. Not the most tidy with the front legs, but she has got that
one vital ingredient. She has got ambition to clear the fences.
Her and Billy really developing into a world-class combination and
they are right up there in the hunt. Still clear with just this last
line to jump. Oh, triple bar. Just falling apart at the end, running
out of petrol. That's a big disappointment for Billy and it was
looking so good for him. 12 more to add. That's 4 to add to
-- 24 to add to their score. So that means they go on 54.12. It
is no qualification for London here. I looked at Billy's face, he was
clear until that last line and then the pin dropped out big style. She
started to run out of petrol. Billy, very, very disappointed.
Rob, how do things stand at the moment? The first two medals have
gone. We are looking for for bronze. We need the Dutch to knock a fence
now. How frustrating is it for you
watching? The horses are jumping great. The other teams are jumping
well. The Dutch look vulnerable, but they have got a good last rider.
We have a top rider who needs to jump as well, so it is very
likes of John Whitaker and Nick Skelton, John 56 now and still as
enthusiastic as ever, riding at the top of his form. Just had a little
touch there. And this horse is so exuBrant when
you watch him land, he lands steeply and John has to work hard
to keep his balance. Oh and the planks have gone.
That makes it harder to win a medal. They have got three fence, not four
the doubles. It is academic, we have got four faults and he has now
had another one. It is not going to be a medal, I wouldn't think now.
He is all right on time. It is eight to add for Britain's John
Whitaker. 22.46 with those five to add. So it means that the last
Dutch rider has got more in hand now. There is just a little flick
with his front legs on those delicate planks and the second part
of the double, seen that come down more in the second round than we
another round for the individual, the team competition is done for
France. They have got three clear rounds. They finish on that team
score of 15.95. They finished in style. Can they finish off in super
style by having four riders. Olivier Guillon was the leader on
the first day. Still very much in contention for the individual. He
has been in great form. A lot of people felt that Olivier Guillon
could be a contender for the title. France will win a medal, will it be
bronze or silver is still in the mix?
As you say, he is riding now very much for himself. He cannot improve
their score.. But with just the four penalties overall he is right
all. A brick out of the wall. So individually dropping right down..
Well be very close for that individual. A mouth-watering
competition to look forward to. It is so very tight up the top
there, but I think the medal winners are going to have to jump
clear from now on in for the individuals. We saw him jump the
water yesterday and he just plays last line. Here he is insideted
time -- inside the time. That's the only mistake the French
team have had on the final day. It's nothing to add, 15.95, France
will win a bronze. They could win a silver and it will depend on the
last rider of the competition from the Netherlands.
It has been a funny jump that wall. Most of the time the horses are way
over it. Every now and again the horses seem to misjudge it. It has
the little gaps in it and they just flick out one of the bricks.
It is a very interesting design. You have to say that we are set up
for a grandstand finish in the individual. Two of the best in the
world to finish Ludger Beerbaum. He twice won the individual title.
With two lovely mares and here he is on a super mare.
This is another big winner. He had one down yesterday and a time fault.
Germany have already got the European title in the the bag. This
yesterday, and I would be surprised if he did that again. Ludger
Beerbaum is known for training his horses to jump the water really
well. We will have a look at him has he comes up to the water now. -
- as he comes up to the water. What can you say about Ludger Beerbaum?
48, lean and fit. You can see him being in the sport for a long time.
I don't think he will go into the for one of the true greats. He
already has more than anyone else. And over the last! Nothing to add
for the greater look good beer down. Germany confirmed, they win the
title -- Ludger Beerbaum. It has been a fine victory. The Dutch got
after them, but the Germans kept their cool and repeat their victory
of last year in Kentucky. They are back of champions of the world and
Europe. It makes for fascinating situation for the Olympics next
year, and one thing is for certain, they will be one of the favourites
win a silver for the Dutch. Or a The French on 15.93. The Dutch have
had eight from Van Der Vleuten, clear from Gerco Schroder. Now, if
they had eight, they would have to carry a score of 16 and then
Britain would be the bronze medallist. But it is a big ask.
This man has won Olympic gold. That was in Sydney in 2000. He is part
of the gold medal team for the Dutch in 2006. Very, very
professional and that the top of his professional -- profession.
is unlikely. He jumped a superb clear round and is not getting near
anything today. Halfway around the course. He's in the water. It means
another, Britain will win the unexpected! Can you believe it? He
is inside the time. Another eight to add 4 Jeroen Dubbeldam. The
Dutch are 16, and Britain get bronze at the very last gasp. We
hoped and we thought it had gone, but they you are. Right on the wire.
That was extraordinary. When you see the way his horse started, and
he suddenly looked in trouble at the water. He was kicking on the
last stride and landed well short. Well, well, well. Just the back
legs on the dreaded double. Just The poor were Dutch dropped from
first to 4th. Bronze for Great Britain, and all three nations
already qualified for the Olympics. So, the magic three extra spots go
to the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. But unfortunately
there will be no Irish team that London 2012. They dropped down to
9th place and failed to qualify. It just didn't go right for you today,
did it? It didn't and I'm extremely disappointed we didn't qualify. It
would have been the closest we would have ever had for our
neighbours, Great Britain. As a country, we wanted to be there.
Sadly we won't be. Individuals can still get there, can't they? Yeah
so, they can. There is the Olympic ranking list which runs from the
1st January to next March. That is four riders from countries which
have not qualified, so a lot of the major countries have qualified,
which gives us a chance of getting maybe one and I would be very
hopeful we will get one or maybe two through. No Irish team, a great
How important a successes this or Germany? Really important. It is a
big competition. After the World Championship we thought we had to
win, but it is not so easy to get a good team together. So we are
really happy with this result from yesterday. It works really well for
us. For you, you could end up with two gold medals. Yes, it looks good,
but there are to be grounds on Sunday and I think it is close. The
first seven or eight riders. My horse is unbelievable and hopefully
he will make some good jumps on It got to the stage when none of
this lot expected to get a medal, but it has happened, and a bronze
medal at that. I can't believe it, really. I thought we would
definitely done for. I was convinced he would jump a clear
round. Jerome's Tours is a top horse, but things happen and we had
luck on our side -- Jerome's horse. The eight faults did not matter in
the end. I was disappointed at the time. He was jumping really well
and I don't think I have seen the planks for all day. Then I thought
we had blown it. It is fantastic to get a bronze. Very good.
Williams, your first experience on the team and you are going home
with a bronze medal. It is really good, and I am happy. That is all
we have to say. Ben Maher, we didn't talk to you after the fence
when down. It was disappointing, because I thought that was the
medal chance gone. But luckily we had a second chance and I'm happy
with the horse this week. Rob, how do you reflect on this and what do
you learn looking ahead to the Olympics? We had a fantastic week
in preparation and felt we would win a medal. It just kept getting
away from us and in the end we had a bit of luck, but bad luck for the
Dutch. I think we deserved it. The horse has jumped great. We have not
had many jumps down, but a couple of feet in the water that put us
down. But it looks good for next year and we are looking forward to
it. We wish you well for next year, but well done out here. Enjoy the
occasion that calls for celebration, and who knows? Nick Skelton has
been very much the leading force in this team performance here. He will
step up for that bronze medal. double clearance was quite
incredible. He is obviously in the hunt for the individual, and that
is something exciting. Three clear rounds, in fact. That is what wins
medals. Ben Maher's horse, he has proved himself a championship
course. And that very gritty performance from Guy Williams.
Putting the bronze medal in the context, we had huge disappointment
just two or three weeks before we came here in losing two of the
horses we wanted on the team with Robert Smith and Michael Whitaker.
That makes this medal even more special. Present in the medals is
John McEwen, the head of the Veterinary Department for the
international federation, and also the vice-president to the President
of the International Federation. And John McEwen has been in with
the dressage and jumpers. He will be highly delighted with Britain's
performance. So, one has to say it, incidentally, Nick's second horse
has been jumping here in lesser competitions and have been placed,
and that is a very good back-up course for Nick. Here are the
French stars. We think John Whitaker is such a good start at 56,
but what about Michel Robert, getting his medal pinned on. And on
the left, and definitely winning coach. Everywhere he gauche -- egos,
Let's congratulate Rob Hoekstra at once more. He has renewed the
enthusiasm of the older riders, owners are on board. There is
better spirit and communication. I think he has done a very good job.
I couldn't agree more, and he is introducing in some of the younger
ones, which I think is good. French, they have also built on
their reputation. They wanted to try and win this title and builds
towards next year. They have certainly builds towards next year
they raised blood but -- Ludger Beerbaum, throwing his hat in the
air. You will have a job keeping him out of the team next year. He
is as hungry as ever. You can see Ludger Beerbaum. It means a lot to
him. When he has won as much as he has in the past, he is hungry for
more. And Carsten-Otto Nagel, who gets the first of the gold medals,
he has probably the one horse beyond all else that is the envy of
the world. What a lovely man. The coach knows what it is to win
himself. But he is proving a very Worse the of the title, and it will
be some competition -- worthy of the title. It will be some
That gold medal for Germany and bronze for Great Britain means they
are the only two nations to have won medals in all disciplines,
dressage, eventing, showjumping and Paralympic dressage, and Nick
Skelton could add to the haul of medals, lying in second behind
Carsten-Otto Nagel in the race for individual medals. Coverage of that
Coverage of the 2011 European Team Championships in Madrid, an important competition on the road to London 2012.
Great Britain's team includes the vastly experienced Nick Skelton and Michael Whitaker, who have each won three European gold medals with the British team.