At the end of a fabulous clear Jumping round, Britain’s Zara Phillips on Toytown is the 2005 FEI European Eventing Champion having kept her Dressage score of 38 penalty points throughout. Another Briton, William Fox-Pitt on Tamarillo, is in silver (44.3) followed by Ingrid Klimke (GER) on Sleep Late who gets the bronze (45.2).
Great Britain confirmed once again their absolute supremacy as Europe’s premier Eventing nation and won the team title for the sixth consecutive time (136.5). France confidently made their way to silver (170.2) whereas Germany are in bronze (181.9).
The last day of the 2005 FEI Blenheim Petplan European Eventing Championship was a fantastic show of horsemanship at its best. The performances of the 54 riders still in competition after the Cross Country and the second vet inspection got more thrilling by the minute. The grandstands were packed to capacity and the huge crowd, Union Jacked from head to toe, encouraged the riders jumping in reverse order of merit. A total of 11 clear rounds were performed.
William Fox-Pitt, Karin Donckers, Pippa Funnell and Zara Phillips were the last to go.
Tamarillo came in swishing his tail and William Fox-Pitt led him carefully over each fence. They collected one time penalty. Gormley and Karin Donckers were next. Both appeared very relaxed, almost too much so, and had a rail down at fence two, which seemed to improve their concentration. But it was too late for a medal and the pair finish 4th with 46.7 points. Pippa Funnell’s Ensign, in runner up position overnight, had had a great competition so far. But he appeared somewhat disunited especially at the beginning of his round and had two rails down which sent the pair in 9th place (50.6).
Zara Phillips was the last rider in the arena. She had once fence in hand and could afford the odd time penalty but being the great champion that she is, she did not use them up. The crowd held their breath as Zara and Toytown jumped their way to victory only to explode in endless cheer. They had done it! Thirty-four years after her mother HRH The Pincess Royal, Zara wins the Individual European title securing moreover team gold. And two medals is so much better than one.
“All of this was a massive dream,” a very emotional Zara said. “It was such a privilege and honour to be on such a wonderful team.” She has made a whole nation proud but the congratulations of her mother must have had a special value to her. “Mum gave me a big hug and told me she was proud of me.”
“I have won a few medals but winning here at Blenheim is very exceptional indeed,” William Fox Pitt declared. “The atmosphere is second to none and this will remain one of the highlights of my career.”
The 2005 FEI Blenheim Petplan European Eventing Championship was a very spectacular one. It offered perfect organisation giving horses and riders the opportunity to display their talent and motivation. It had many unforgettable moments of sporting excellence which make the future of Eventing seem bright indeed.
The full results are available on the event's official website http://www.blenheim-horse.co.uk/