British Eventing has today announced their selection of the squad of six horses and riders to represent Britain at the Senior European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen, Germany (25th – 28th August 2011). This competition is the last senior eventing Championship in Europe before the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The selected squad comprises:
• Laura Collett riding Mr Jason Houghton’s Rayef
• William Fox-Pitt riding the Hon.Mrs Teresa Stopford Sackville’s Cool Mountain
• Piggy French riding Mr Walter French and Mr Michael Underwood’s Jakata
• Mary King riding Miss Janette Chinn and Mr & Mrs Edwin Davies’s Imperial Cavalier
• Polly Stockton riding her own and Mr Arthur Comyn’s Westwood Poser
• Nicola Wilson riding Miss Rosemary Search’s Opposition Buzz
Yogi Breisner, World Class Performance Manager for the Eventing team said of his selection: “It’s a very exciting team and great to have Polly back in the squad. We also welcome Laura as a new member at senior level after her success on pony, junior and young rider teams. Altogether we have a fantastic mix of youth and experience and some great combinations to look out for.”
All six selected riders are currently on the World Class Programme, which is generously supported by Lottery and Exchequer funding via UK Sport. The Programme incorporates both the Development and Performance Programmes and the Equine Pathway, and works closely with the three BEF Olympic Member Bodies, British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping.
Commenting on their selection the athletes said:
Laura Collett:“I can’t quite believe it, I am just so excited to be going and even more pleased to have Rayef as my senior ride, having also had him as a fantastic junior team horse.”
William Fox-Pitt: “Cool Mountain’s owner, Teresa Stopford Sackville and I feel very honoured and excited to be selected and we look forward to taking on the German’s in their own territory!”
Piggy French: “I am very pleased to make the squad, Jakata is a wonderful horse. It is really exciting to be going to Germany, and fingers crossed, be part of Britain bringing back some more medals!”
Mary King: “After having competed at Luhmühlen (in June) I am very pleased to be going back again as part of the squad now I have seen the huge improvements. It’s great to be selected again and be part of such a strong squad. It’s also wonderful for Imperial Cavalier’s owners to have their horse representing Britain again, I had been very hopeful that we would be selected after he went so well at WEG and Badminton.”
Polly Stockton: “I am honestly so delighted and pleasantly surprised to be selected for the squad seeing as I had last year off to have my son, so it is great to be asked back so soon. I hope we can repeat our good form so far.”
Nicola Wilson: “I was over the moon to be getting the call from Yogi! The first step of the process has begun and it is so exciting to think that in less than a month, all being well, we will be heading to Germany for the Europeans. I am so pleased that we have been selected as he (Opposition Buzz) has been such a consistent horse. It’s just lovely for our whole support team at home.”
All six riders compete as individuals, with four riders selected at event to compete as a team in the Team Competition. The results of the two riders not selected as part of the team will not affect the overall team score. A list of non travelling reserves will also be announced nearer the time.
All the news and behind the scenes views in the run up to and during the European Championships can be found on both British Eventing and Equestrian Team GBR’s websites visit www.britisheventing.com and www.equestrianteamgbr.co.uk for more details.
The European Championships take place near the town of Salzhausen in Germany just south of Hamburg.