British rider Anna Wilks produced a perfect cross-country round on the nine-year-old Touch of Pleasure to lead the individual competition at the 2014 Junior European Eventing Championships at Bishop Burton College, Yorkshire, on Saturday.
“He was awesome all the way round and gave me a really nice feeling from the start,” said Oxfordshire-based Wilks, 17, who completed on her dressage mark of 41.2.
“I was a showjumper before I evented so it’s my strongest phase but you never know what can happen and I hope I can hold it all together tomorrow.”
Tina Kruger, an individual rider from Germany, and Dolce Mia, climbed the order from third to second after a fault-free round while Ireland’s Cathal Daniels, 17, and Rioghan Rua’s one time penalty was good enough to leave them in individual bronze. Dressage leaders Jerome Robine and Quaddeldou R dropped to fourth after incurring three time faults.
“He’s not the fastest horse and at first he was looking around a bit so we lost time but I’m really happy to be in first place with the team,” said Robine, 16.
Germany rose from bronze medal position after the dressage into the top spot after all four of their riders recorded clear jumping rounds for a handful of time penalties. They finished on a total score of 139.2, ahead of Ireland, which maintained its second placing from the dressage, on 149.1 and France, which moved up from fourth, to end the phase on 151.4.
“There’s a bit of pressure on us as our senior riders are the best in the world and we would like to do the same so we are very pleased to be in gold medal position,” said Hanna Knuppel, who is in 28th place on Carismo.
Great Britain, who led the team event after the dressage, is now in fourth place after Katie Bleloch had a refusal at fence 14 and Emily King was eliminated following a fall at fence 7.
Teams from Belarus and Belgium were eliminated on the cross-country.