By Emily Goddard

Shawn Flarida steered Spooks Gotta Whiz to win individual Reining gold at the World Equestrian Games ©FEIAthletes from the United States filled every spot on the podium following the individual reining final at the World Equestrian Games, with Shawn Flarida galloping to gold in Normandy.

Partnering with Spooks Gotta Whiz, Flarida produced a winning score of 233.5 at the Parc des Expositions in Caen to take his fifth World Equestrian Games gold medal, while his team gold medal-winning compatriots from earlier in the week, Andrea Fappani and Mandy McCutcheon, claimed silver and bronze.

Flarida was the only competitor to return to the ring after the last drag break, and he put together four spins to the right, four and one-quarter spins to the left and then circles, fast and slow, at each end of the arena, with the lead-changes crucial to a strong score.

He then brought the pattern to its conclusion with run downs and rollbacks before the final sliding stop.

"Andrea put so much pressure on me as far as he went in there and marked a 230 and set the world on fire - it was definitely a lot of pressure but at the same time it was a lot of fun, just knowing that I had that horse to do what he can do," Flarida said.

"There was a number of different guys that could have stepped up and won this.

"When you go in there and show, there is so much emotion and so many things going on, I didn't really know what way it was scoring.

"I knew my horse was as good as he could be, he prepared exactly like he showed, and from a horseman's standpoint when they warm up and they prep just like that, then it makes you really happy.

"Sometimes it doesn't always go that good, but tonight it was just right.

"My game plan was don't make any mistakes.

"For whatever reason that horse, he knows when show time is.

"I don't know how he knows, but he steps up and he does his job."

Meanwhile, Germany is still on course to win eventing team gold but Britain have risen from fifth to second place and are within three jumping fences of the leaders after today's cross-country round.

William Fox-Pitt takes over the individual eventing lead after the cross-country round at the World Equestrian Games ©FEIWilliam Fox-Pitt takes over the individual eventing lead after the cross-country round at the World Equestrian Games ©FEI

Australia is now third, France fourth and The Netherlands sixth after the departures of the New Zealand and US teams.

Britain's William Fox-Pitt now heads the individual leader board, on a score of 50.3 ahead of Germans Sandra Auffarth on 52.0 and Michael Jung on 52.3.

However, the British delegation is mourning the loss of Wild Lone, the horse ridden by Harry Meade into 25th place with 26.4 time penalties, which collapsed and died after the finish.

"Harry is a close friend of mine and it's hard to celebrate much," Fox-Pitt said.

"It was the hardest terrain I've ridden, because the ground was very soft and the course demanding, but Chilli [Morning] gave me a lovely ride.

"There are not many eventing stallions who would keep trying for you like that and I'm very proud of him."

Meade insisted the cross-country course played no part in Wild Lone's death.

Action continues tomorrow with the jumping phase of the competition.

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