Great Britain claimed team silver at the European Eventing Championships on Sunday and Pippa Funnell admits that relief was the overriding emotion after the result at Blair Castle, Perthshire.
Britain were second heading into Sunday’s showjumping, and although they never had a realistic chance of overhauling leaders Germany, the trio of Funnell, Nicola Wilson and Kitty King all got round the course and did enough to hold off France, who finished third.
The original British quartet also included William Fox-Pitt but the 46-year-old had to retire his mount Bay My Hero on Saturday.
Germany’s overall total of 122.70 left them well clear of Britain on 173.30 with France ending on 183.70.
And with the Rio Olympics just under a year away, Funnell knows there is plenty of work for GB to do despite the positives at Blair Castle.
“I’m feeling relieved – phew! After all the rain on Saturday, it was hard work but from my point of view we had the horses to get it done,” said Funnell.
“Kitty was fantastic and William is always there but he just had one of those weeks that we all have at times.
“It’s been a great team atmosphere and it’s really nice having a medal round my neck again.
“We’ve had fun but we need to dig in deep and do a lot of hard work to catch up with the Germans.”
Olympic champion Michael Jung produced a clear round to comfortably claim individual gold while fellow German Sandra Auffarth finished second and Frenchman Thibaut Vallette Lt Col third.
Britain’s Izzy Taylor had been third on her horse KBIS Briarlands Matilda heading into the final day of competition but incurred four faults and a time penalty to finish sixth.
That meant King was the highest-placed British rider in fourth, ultimately missing out on a bronze medal by just 0.10.
But her clear round was a key reason why GB won team silver, she reserved special praise for her horse Persimmon.
“He’s been fantastic all week and he couldn’t have jumped better,” said King. “I knew he could do it so long as I didn’t mess up.”
© Sportsbeat 2015