Ros and Lordships Graffalo are the new European Champions.
Last to go for the team, Ros was the penultimate competitor into the dressage arena and ‘Walter’ did a great test to sit in second place on 21.3. The following day, the pair was the only cross country round inside the time, beating the clock by a whopping nine seconds.
“We had a near whoopsie at fence two and that sharpened us both up!” Ros said after her round. “The ground out there was hard work, but Walter is just unbelievable in his stamina and desire to travel through ground like that. He was so rideable, he keeps travelling, lets me balance, and when you balance, he’s got energy – he is, I think, the best horse in the world when it comes to something like this. I’m just so lucky. I’m relieved I was able to still give him a nice ride. Sometimes, going fourth is a hard place to be but I had to stick to my plan. I’ve watched quite a bit, supported the others, but at the end of the day, there is just one Walter and I had to stick to everything that I knew he could do.”
With two fences in hand, plus some time, there was just the showjumping to go. The first part of the treble fell, but everything else stayed up; Ros had won double gold.
“I’m very relieved. I think when you have a bit of a margin, it almost makes it worse because there’s further to fall and the expectation was that I should win it today. So, I’ve had to try and keep myself in my own bubble a little bit, remind myself who I’m sat on, and just try and do the best job I could in that situation. It’s what we came here to do. Winning gold medals for Great Britain is what it’s all about for me.” explained Ros.
“It’s amazing. For me, the team has always come first – that’s why I love riding on the team. It’s what I do it for, it’s what I dream of doing, it always has been. I’ve got Walter to thank really, he’s just a really wonderful horse. He’s what dreams are made of. There are no words to describe him.
“Winning Badminton was a huge box ticked and I didn’t think he could get much better, so to win here as well… I didn’t come into this week really dreaming of winning or anything like that. It’s all about trying to do the best for your team and your country. So, winning is an absolute bonus. A few minutes ago, I don’t think it had sunk in, now I’m starting to feel quite emotional about it all.”