Supporting Team GB’s success at the 2023 European Eventing Championships
Being a Team GB eventing fan felt a little like being on a rollercoaster this week – thankfully one that ended on a high! All eyes were on Haras du Pin in Normandy, France for the European Eventing Champions. Here at Toggi HQ we had an additional reason to keep a close eye on the action from France and the fate of the British contingent – our ongoing support of British Equestrian.
British Equestrian was founded in 1972 and is the national governing body for equestrian sport in Great Britain. The organisation represents Great Britain and our interests at the International Federation for Equestrian Sports. Since 2020, Toggi has been the manufacturer for the official British Equestrian kit, providing their athletes and staff with apparel that’s branded, stylish and packed with innovative features to keep the wearer comfortable. From polo tops with UPF factor 50 to lightweight breathable mid layers and supportive socks, this is kit designed by riders, for riders.
The collection is also available for general purchase for those who want to fly the flag for British riders and the organisation that supports them. What’s more, we donate a percentage of sales from the Toggi GBR collection back to British Equestrian. They then use this to help generate additional funds for all equestrian disciplines, ensuring our teams can compete at the highest level and reach their potential. That means you not only get to wear this stylish and patriotic kit, but you’re also playing a small part in helping to ensure Team GB’s continued success on the international stage. Which brings us back to the Euros earlier this month… A lot was expected of the British contingent, which was composed of the all-female team of Laura Collett, Ros Canter, Yasmin Ingham and Toggi ambassador Kitty King, with Tom McEwen and Tom Jackson competing as individuals.
It was a thrilling event from start to finish. There was the simply extraordinary dressage phase, where British riders sat in second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth places in the individual competition behind Michael Jung of Germany on a superb score of 19.4. With such a strong set of dressage results it’s no surprise that the British riders were leading the team competition with 67.1, followed by Germany in second on 76.3 and the Belgians in third place on 90.9. With such a strong dressage behind them, fans and riders alike were excited to see how the Saturday would pan out. However, as is so often the case in equestrian sport at all levels, the day would run a little less smoothly than planned.
Rain meant that the ground for the cross-country phase became sticky, and with an already energy-sapping twisty and hilly course, the organisers decided to omit several fences in the interests of horse safety. The cross-country test proved to be very influential, with British rider Ros Canter and Lordships Graffalo the only partnership to complete the course clear and within the optimum time with an accurate and confident round. Overnight leader Michael Jung of Germany was eliminated after a (thankfully not serious) fall, putting Ros in the lead. The rest of Team GB had mixed fortunes – pathfinder Kitty King and her grey Vendredi Biats went clear with a superb round with just 3.6 time penalties, while reigning world champion Yasmin Ingham had a refusal on Banzai du Loir which put her down in 25th place individually. Laura Collett put in a strong round on London 52, despite her superstar horse ‘hating the ground’, but unfortunately missed a flag, therefore racking up 15 penalties, while British individual competitors Tom McEwan and Tom Jackson were eliminated and picked up 20 penalty points respectively.
Those results meant that Team GB were well out in front going into the show jumping, with a score of 98.7, well ahead of Germany on 126 who were narrowly ahead of France on 126.2. After her strong dressage and clear cross-country, Ros Canter was in first place individually, with Kitty King in second and France’s Sandra Auffarth in third. Those placings remained unchanged in an exciting final day’s competition, and so the British quartet took the gold medal in the team competition, while Ros and Kitty took individual gold and silver to top a very memorable weekend for Team GB. Huge congratulations to the riders, owners, grooms, coaching and support staff and here’s to Paris 2024!