Just champion - Yorkshire trio star in Great Britain success

Star duo: Nicola Wilson on Bulana
Star duo: Nicola Wilson on Bulana
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Great Britain’s eventers ended an eight-year wait for gold by winning the FEI European Championships team title in Poland.

And three of their Strzegom line-up - Nicola Wilson, Tina Cook and Oliver Townend - were team members when Britain last conquered Europe in 2009.

Gold strike: Huddersfield's Oliver Townend.

Gold strike: Huddersfield's Oliver Townend.

Huddersfield’s Townend was the discard score following a testing cross-country round on Saturday, but 40-year-old Wilson - the North Yorkshire-based rider also collected an individual bronze medal - triple Olympic medallist Cook and major championship debutant Rosalind Canter all delivered clear show-jumping rounds under acute pressure.

Britain finished on a score of 113.9 penalties, 9.1 clear of runners-up and defending champions Germany, with Sweden collecting bronze, Italy finishing fourth and Ireland fifth.

Germany dominated the individual standings, as Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob took gold on a final score of 30.3 penalties, meaning that her team-mate and reigning Olympic champion Michael Jung had to settle for silver aboard fischerRocana FST and just missed a record fourth successive European individual title.

Wilson and Bulana finished third on 35.5, with Cook and Billy The Red in fourth, a further 2.7 penalties behind, while fifth-placed Canter and Allstar B posted a final total of 40.2.

In charge: Harrogate's Chris Bartle.

In charge: Harrogate's Chris Bartle.

Elsewhere, Ireland’s Sarah Ennis was seventh, one position ahead of British individual competitor Gemma Tattersall

It also represented a spectacular start to the reign of new British performance coach Chris Bartle, the Yorkshireman who left his role with Germany earlier this year after masterminding Olympic, World and European gold medal successes.

Reflecting on her double medal triumph, Northallerton’s Wilson said: “I think I am still pinching myself. I am delighted with how Bulana has been this season, and she’s been a superstar all week.

“She is such a special horse and has just been fantastic this championships. I just can’t thank everyone enough, and I feel so incredibly lucky.”

Cook, who was competing at her eighth European Championships, added: “We were really wanting that gold. It has been a few years, and it’s fantastic to be back in this position.

“It is all so different (than in 2009). I am on a different horse and a different team, but it’s still just as special.”

Canter, the youngest team member at 31, said: “I don’t think it has really sunk in yet. The excitement of it all is just amazing.”