It was double delight after today’s cross country phase as GB rider Saffie Osborne finished in individual gold position in the competition, being held at Bishop Burton College.
One thing’s for sure, spectators will be on the edge of their seats as less than a fence separates the first three positions in both the team and individual medals.
“It’s absolutely incredible,” said Saffie.
“I knew I had the pony to do it. Tomorrow’s another day but she came home full of running. She’s a solid showjumper, so fingers crossed.
“I feel really proud and am really looking forward to tomorrow; it’s very exciting. I wanted to do our sponsors and all our supporters proud.”
Ireland finished the day in silver medal position, with France in bronze.
Saffie, who won silver at last year’s championships in Hungary, is the daughter of Yorkshire-born former jockey and now racehorse trainer Jamie Osborne. Her pony, Little Indian Feather, was rescued from a roadside in Tipperary as a two-year-old.
Further down the table, in fifth position, is Italy. Three out of four of the team’s ponies competed at Bishop Burton when the championships were last held at the college eight years ago in 2010.
Roberta Cerrato, groom to 17-year-old pony Fine and Smart, joked that it was an Italian diet of pasta and pizza that kept the ponies fit enough to continue competing at such a high level.
“They live in good stables, get good food and it’s good for the team to have such experienced ponies,” she said.