Great Britain showjumpers win European Championship gold

Team GB

Great Britain's Olympic showjumping champions have won their first European team title for 24 years.

The team - Ben Maher, Michael Whitaker, William Funnell and Scott Brash - led overnight and a clear round by individual leader Maher helped them secure victory in Herning, Denmark.

But Britain failed to retain their dressage title, despite Charlotte Dujardin setting a new world record.

She beat her own previous best of 84.447%, with 85.942% on Valegro.

Double Olympic champion Dujardin and team-mates Carl Hester, Michael Eilberg and Gareth Hughes were third behind new champions Germany and runners-up Holland.

Brash was the last rider to go in the showjumping, knowing he could afford four faults and still keep Britain ahead of Germany.

He knocked just one fence down, meaning Britain finished on a total of 12.18 penalties, with Germany posting 12.77 for silver and Sweden (13.44) claiming bronze.

Victory means Britain are only the second country in showjumping history, after Germany, to hold Olympic and European crowns simultaneously.

Both Maher and Brash were members of the victorious London 2012 team, while 53-year-old Whitaker was competing in his 10th European Championships.

"It is an unbelievable achievement. I am absolutely delighted - they all rode unbelievably," said Great Britain team boss Rob Hoekstra.

"It was a different kind of tension from London. We were in front here, which we weren't in London, and everyone is trying to catch up with you in that situation."

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