Jumping in the European Championships at Windsor was superb. Bob Ellis the course designer did a wonderful job, the ground was super, with Martin Collins's surface giving the horses the perfect platform, and both the team and the individual championships came down to the last few people in the ring, which produced a nailbiting finish.
As I wrote here earlier in the week (see previous blog) Ireland were just short of being good enough to take a medal as a team, with only five faults denying us the silver. Today in the individual event Rancorrado was fantastic, he jumped a wonderful clear round in the first, and had a rail down in the second round to finish a very creditable 13th overall.
The European Championships were won by a very good friend of mine, Frenchman Kevin Staut, pictured above, and for whom I'm genuinely delighted. He has had this horse a long time and had planned for this all year, and it is especially nice to see him getting just rewards for his effort.
This was Rancorrado's first championship, the performance he gave was fantastic, but as he gains further experience I've no doubt he will deliver great things in the future.
Ireland's highest place was Cameron Hanley who took fourth overall, and it was very unfortunate that a single time fault cost him a bronze medal. Darragh Kerins with the wonderfully talented Night Train, who by the way is only 15.2hh, finished 12th and again I was 13th - just outside my prediction of finishing in the top ten, but nonetheless I'm very happy with my week.