William Fox-Pitt claimed bronze at the European Eventing Championships but he admits Britain’s failure to finish on the podium in the team event in Malmo was ‘disappointing’.
It was the first time in 20 years that London 2012 silver medallists Britain – who finished sixth – had not won a team medal at the championships.
Germany retained their title with hosts Sweden in second, while France rounded off the top three.
And 44-year-old Fox-Pitt, who now has 17 major medals in his career after finishing behind Germany’s Michael Jung and Ingrid Klimke in the individual event, claims luck wasn’t on their side.
“I came here with the expectation of winning an individual medal. If Chilli [Morning – his horse] was on good form, I knew he could,” said Fox-Pitt.
“We came here with hopes to win a team medal and naturally we are disappointed. We've been very fortunate to be part of strong teams for so long when things have gone right.
“When you have two out of the four horses in the team having hiccups on the cross-country, your luck is not in.”
Germany won the team competition by a wide margin of 17.8 penalties, finishing on 116.2 – 64.4 penalties clear of Britain – with Sweden posting 134, France 151.6, Italy 167 and Belgium 179.2.
Elsewhere individually, Tina Cook finished in 13th place, Izzy Taylor was 35th and Pippa Funnell 40th.
But veteran Fox-Pitt admits all is not lost for Britain, believing Germany’s dominance won’t last.
“[Germany] will not be winning forever and we will go away and focus on what we need to work on,” he added.
“If you look at four years ago, you had all the Germans on the floor in Fontainebleau and then in Kentucky [at the World Equestrian Games 2010], and who would have thought that?
“The sport is becoming more technical and everyone is getting better and better, but these things go in cycles.”
© Sportsbeat 2013