Saturday’s torrential rain and mudbath conditions at Blair Castle for the Longines FEI European Championships brought back fond memories for Tina Cook.
The 2009 European individual champion was not involved this time around with the British team, but she witnessed the action at first-hand in her role as a television commenter.
“It was reminiscent of my first senior championships, at Achelschwang in Germany in 1993, where it poured with rain on cross-country day and the ground turned into a bog,” she said.
“And it was long-format in those days, with roads and tracks and steeplechase to do as well. I was young then, and you just seize the opportunity.”
Cook won an individual silver medal that day, and she admitted that competing in championships provide her with a real driving force.
“During my career, I’ve never really set the world alight at one-day events. For me, everything has been about representing my country.
“That is my motivation and is what gets me out of bed every day. Winning the European title at Fontainebleau will always be one of the most special days of my life.
“Of course I would love to have been riding (at Blair), but I must admit that I was drier in the commentary box.”
Image: Tina Cook by Henry Bucklow/Lazy Photography, CC BY-SA 3.0