The UK Sport National Lottery funded Great Britain para-equestrian dressage squad has been announced by the British Dressage selectors for the upcoming FEI European Championships, which takes place in Deauville, France (17-20 September 2015).
The selected squad has been named as (in alphabetical order):
- Grade II, Natasha Baker MBE (25) from Uxbridge, Middlesex with Sookie St James owned by Mr Christian Landolt & Mr and Mrs Baker
- Grade Ia, Sophie Christiansen OBE (27) from Maidenhead, Berkshire with Athene Lindebjerg, owned by Mrs Diane Redfern
- Grade Ia, Anne Dunham MBE (66) from Devizes, Wiltshire with the Lady Joseph Trust’s LJT Lucas Normark
- Grade Ib, Lee Pearson CBE (41) from Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire with Mr & Mrs D Pearson, Mrs Gillian Chinn and his own Zion
- Grade IV, Sophie Wells MBE (25) from North Harbury, Nottinghamshire with her own Valerius
Two of the five-man squad have also been selected with direct reserve horses; Sophie Christiansen is selected with her own Janeiro 6, whilst Sophie Wells has Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction, as a direct reserve.
Selected non-travelling reserves (in alphabetical order):
- Grade III, Heather Bennett (47) from Goole, Humberside with her own Zavailantika
- Grade III, Nicky Greenhill (37) from Elstead, Surrey with Mr & Mrs Greenhill’s Gregorian Chant
Chef d’Equipe for the team, David Hunter commented; “The five that have been selected truly deserve to be representing Great Britain at the forthcoming European Championships. It’s as strong a squad as ever and it’s great to see some new horses coming through to make their senior team debuts, whilst it’s exciting to have new combinations stepping up to the mark in our two reserves. Congratulations to those athletes selected and good luck, and commiserations for those not selected on this occasion.”
All riders compete as individuals at the Championships; a team of four riders will be announced before the start of the competition to contest the team event (the results of the rider competing as an individual will not have any weighting on the overall team score). Great Britain’s para-equestrian dressage team are the current and undefeated European, World and Paralympic champions.
Equestrian Team GBR is supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme; the British teams are very grateful to the support they receive from official Team GBR suppliers Dodson & Horrell, Equi-Trek, Land Rover, NAF, NuuMed, Point Two Equine, Tagg Equestrian and Toggi.