Louth rider Ros Canter secures top five finish as GB win European Championship gold

Ros Canter (second right) with her gold-medal winning team EMN-170822-084339002
Ros Canter (second right) with her gold-medal winning team EMN-170822-084339002

Event rider Ros Canter stormed onto the elite international stage by helping Great Britain to their first European Championships team gold medal in eight years.

The Hallington rider justified the British selectors’ faith to include her in the four-strong team for the European Eventing Championships with a nerveless performance with Allstar B in Strzegom, Poland.

Canter and Allstar B were trusted to make their senior international debut on one of the biggest stages in the sport - the championships are on a par with the Olympics and World Equestrian Games.

The 31-year-old scored a personal best with Alby in the dressage phase to lie in 15th place ahead of cross country day as Britain moved into second behind Germany.

The pair then stormed clear round a testing course, and just four seconds over the optimum time, to propel her into the top 10, in eighth, individually, as Britain moved to the top of the team standings.

“It feels amazing; I owe so much to Alby,” said Canter after her round.

“He’s a big strong horse, and he always makes me work hard, but he’s so honest and such an amazing jumper.

“I’m delighted; he’s just the most phenomenal horse.”

The Lincolnshire rider then showed why she finished not just fifth at this year’s Badminton Horse Trials, but also as the best British and leading lady rider at just her second attempt.

Holding her nerve, Canter guided Alby to a flawless clear round in the final show jumping phase, moving her up to fifth individually and helping Team GB secure their first team gold medal at the championships since 2009.

Team-mate Nicola Wilson won bronze, while Tina Cook was fourth, and Gemma Tattersall eighth as GB finished nine faults clear of runners-up Germany (123.0) and a huge 35 ahead of bronze medallists Sweden.

Before heading home, Canter tried to reflect on her experience.

“I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet,” she added.

“It’s so exciting to have been part of this team, with all their experience around me, and it’s so special for us all.

“The excitement of it all is just amazing.”