Team GB has delivered a rousing silver medal to a rapturous crowd at Greenwich this afternoon in the Equestrian Eventing Team event, finishing just ahead of New Zealand and behind the Germans, who produced a dominant showjumping display on the final day of competition.
William Fox-Pitt and Nicola Wilson got the British team off to a solid start before Zara Phillips, riding third, put real pressure on the rest of the field, knocking down just one fence.
Following a short break the event resumed and Great Britain continued to lock horns with New Zealand as a tense battle for second started to develop. The penultimate round saw Mary King deliver a double clear to send British spirits soaring. New Zealand’s final rider finished with penalties and Tina Cook rounded off a magnificent achievement, finishing with a flawless double clear to secure silver in an enthralling contest.
There will be high expectations once again this afternoon as Mary King is third, and Tina Cook fourth, in the Individual competition with just one round of showjumping to come.
UK Sport’s investment in the British Equestrian Federation has increased by more than £1.5million from Beijing to the London cycle, to a total of almost £13.4million. UK Sport funding is based on an assessment of the number of medals available and the number of athletes Equestrian has with a realistic potential of reaching an Olympic final in London 2012 or Rio 2016 and helps support the sport and athletes in a number of ways.
There are currently 69 athletes on UK Sport’s World Class Programme, including Kristina Cook, Mary King, Pippa Funnell, Carl Hester and Emile Faurie, who have all been on the Programme since 1998.
Great Britain is one of the world’s most successful equestrian nations and has a rich history at the Olympics, having medalled at all but three Games in which a British team has entered since 1948.
The British Equestrian Federation are also supported by the English Institute of Sport, EIS has worked with Equestrian for several years and has delivered medical, physiotherapy and strength and conditioning support across a number of EIS sites. The EIS and the sport have sought to find ways of providing support to the home-yard base of the riders who are also spread around the whole of the UK.
Over the past Olympic Cycle, the EIS has sought to address the unique challenges riders face in managing their equestrian businesses as well as their training and competition programmes with the introduction of a more sport-tailored Performance Lifestyle support. The EIS and Equestrian, have also recently re-introduced Sports Psychology support to the riders.
For more information about UK Sport's support for Equestrian please click here.