European champion Wilson full of optimism for the future with Bulana
HOT on the heels of her double medal success at the European Eventing Championships in Poland, Nicola Wilson has reason to believe her mare Bulana is a star for the future.
Wilson was Great Britain's final rider to enter the arena for the show-jumping phase where she upgraded her fourth place to a bronze medal and in doing so, secured Great Britain's first team gold since 2009.
Wilson is now back at her stables in North Yorkshire taking a well-earned rest, but her first individual medal in the world of eventing has inspired her to dream even bigger.
"Bulana is of a good age and looking forward to next year's World Championships, it would be lovely to think that she's put in a good of enough performance to attract the attention for the selectors for next year," said the 40-year-old eventer.
"I always dream of being on teams – it's what drives me day in, day out, and going to championships and being competitive and successful.
"She's come out of the Europeans as if she's done nothing.
"To look at her, you wouldn't have thought she had travelled all the way to Poland and back for a three-day event, she looks superb."
Wilson was the only British rider to finish on the podium in the individual eventing, while team-mates Tina Cook and, championship debutant, Ros Canter both helped lay the foundations for the win.
"I'm still pinching myself but I'm thrilled and over the moon. There're so many people to thank, there're so many people who have made this possible," added Wilson.
"Every rider knew what they had to do, everybody was very focused and it was nice to come out on top.
"It's very special. This is my first individual medal and I've been lucky enough to be part of the British team for a number of years. To go last for the team this year, after many years being the pathfinder, was so exciting.
"There was an awful lot of waiting around – waiting for the dressage and cross country and fortunately still waiting for the show jumping.
"I had plenty practise of waiting, but it was important to just stay in my own little bubble and have confidence in the feeling that Bulana was giving me.
"Every time I worked her, she felt really good and we had confidence and belief in each other that we could do it.
"It was a very proud moment and I'm just so delighted for James and Jo Lambert, who own Bulana. They have a very special horse and Bulana and I have a very special partnership."
Wilson had planned on competing at the prestigious Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials next week, but has since withdrawn her entry with One Too Many.
"I love Burghley Horse Trials, they were my first four-star event I competed in all those years back with Mr Bumble when we were tenth, and it's a very exciting competition for me," concluded Wilson.
"It's a great shame not to be there this year, but hopefully I'll be there in years to come."