Gemma Tattersall admitted that she was “chuffed to bits” after delivering a cross-country masterclass in appalling weather conditions at Blair Castle.
The Sussex-based rider lies seventh with Arctic Soul heading into Sunday’s showjumping finale at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships.
But whatever happens now, Tattersall can always say that she was one of just three riders from 64 starters to jump clear inside the time at a European showpiece event on her major championship debut.
Asked if her round, which was performed amid torrential rain, had provided the thrill of a lifetime, she said: “Just a little bit!
“I am chuffed to bits. He gave me an awesome ride. What a horse!
“He was so careful out there, and given tough conditions, he is even better. There were some tricky questions out there, but he is an absolute machine.”
Tattersall could climb further up the leaderboard, maybe into medal contention, if she jumps a showjumping clear on Sunday.
“He is a very careful horse,” she added. “The atmosphere can get to him, but if I can keep that under control, he has every chance of jumping clear.”
Tattersall is among three British non-team members occupying top 10 places, with Izzy Taylor and KBIS Briarlands Matilda in third and Laura Collett and Grand Manoeuvre holding ninth spot.