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Aachen - Team GB Nations Cup

03-July-2022 13:25
in General
by Admin

We have just had the amazing Aachen experience.  There is no other event/venue like it in the world, so to be there is a complete privilege.  After Badminton I had hoped to take Little Fire there so I was very pleased to be in the 5 selected riders.


We had a very good journey out amidst all the various Brexit battles, fortunately they did not seem too bad this time.


We arrived on the Wednesday to give a bit of recovery time before the trot-up on Thursday.  That all went to plan and Dickie Waygood decided to run Little Fire third for the team.  The atmosphere in Aachen is fairly intense and Little Fire did seem to be wearing his crazy Badminton shoes!  So it took a bit of time to settle him down.  He did a very decent dressage to score 27.2.  I was very pleased with his test, he did nothing wrong and 'kept his lid firmly on'.  The score left him in 6th place after dressage, a little bit of a way behind Michael Jung.  Some of the judging was jolly interesting, but as a rider it is always good to watch as little of that as possible.


We jumped on Friday evening in the main arena which is just incredible.  Horses either go in and jump 2" higher or 2" lower, and I was very happy that Little Fire was on springs and jumped a very classy clear round and moved up to 3rd spot.


So the pressure was on and Team GB held on to their dressage lead.


Saturday was cross country day and although the course was 4* level it was very decent and asked lots of questions, the going was superb but with 8 jumping efforts in the last minute we knew the time was going to be seriously tight.  The cross country ran in numerical order but the last ten went in reverse order which was a very good format to make an exciting competition.  It was quite obvious that if you were not in too much of a hurry the course rode much better than if you were, and as the competition came to a climax there were a few mistakes.  Little Fire felt amazing and really took it all in his stride, with loads of spectators there was a real atmosphere out on the course.  He gave me a fantastic ride but sadly I was a little bit slower than I would have liked and we dropped down to 7th place.  The scores were very tight and 7.18 time faults were rather too expensive.  So I will have to speed up - no surprises there!


Happily Tom McEwen had a terrific round to finish 3rd and Yasmin Ingham was foot perfect, so Team GB held on for a win.


The prize giving was all very exciting for Little Fire who behaved like a 3yo, but he kept it together and we had a very satisfying lap of honour.


Team GB were devastated for Caroline Moore and Ros Canter with the loss of Allstar B.  What an incredible career he has had, he will be hugely missed. 


On a personal note it was very special to have Alice and my boys out in Aachen supporting the team.  It is such an incredible event for them to see, and it was great they could be a part of the whole Team GB experience.  I was very proud they could see Team GB perform so well.  They did enjoy the odd party, but they also offered plenty of advice and walked the course with surprising intertest.


Aachen did a tremendous job with the 4* Nations Cup.  Us Eventers are very appreciative to be part of their show and it is brilliant to have such a stage to perform on.  


Team GB




© 2013 William Fox-Pitt. Photos copyright of William Murray in partnership with Fox-Pitt Eventing. With contributions from Kit Houghton, Fiona Scott-Maxwell, Julia Shearwood, Gavin Hudspith, Ian Loveland & Adam Fanthorpe.

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