Britain has come second in the third leg of FEI Nations Cup Eventing, competing on home turf (30 May).
It was a strong German team who claimed victory at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, with three of the team finishing in the top five.
Although Germany has won two out of the three eventing Nations Cup series, this is the first time they have won a British leg.
“We are very happy to win here in England,” said team manager Hans Melzer. “The three boys were all clear inside the time, which meant that Sandra [Auffarth], on a younger horse, could afford not to rush and let the horse find a rhythm.”
Andreas Ostholt, who was pathfinder for the German team on So Is It, finished second behind French team member Luc Chateau (Propriano de l’Ebat). Niklas Bischorer (Tom Tom Go 3) was fourth while the experienced Dirk Schrade (Hop And Skip) came fifth.
The winning team finished almost 15 points clear of Britain who were thrilled, nonetheless, as they competed on relatively untested horses.
“We are all really excited to have finished second to such a strong German team with an inexperienced team of horses,” said Pippa Funnell, who finished third on Billy the Biz.
Sarah Bullimore was 10th individually on Conpierre while Francis Whittington came 12th with West Side. Young rider Georgie Strang, who made her Nations Cup debut at Ballindenisk last month, was 16th on Ascot H.
The French were second after the dressage, but slipped to third place when Alexis Gomez (Rien Qu’un Crack), had a run-out on the cross-country. The Netherlands took fourth place, Spain was fifth, and a three-man Australian team placed sixth
Britain now heads the Nations Cup Eventing leaderboard, with France just one point behind them. Both nations have competed in all legs this season so far.
The fourth leg in the series takes place at Strzegom in Poland on 25-28 June.
With thanks to Charlotte Ricca-Smith