UK Sport Press Release
With less than a year to go to the FEI European Eventing Championships in Scotland, Great Britain’s National Coach is looking forward to seeing how his team reacts at such a testing event on home soil.
Yogi Breisner, who has led medal winning teams at the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games, thinks that with qualification for Rio 2016 secured, the competition will provide him with a chance to experiment with the make-up of his team.
"Having a home European Championships in the year before an Olympic Games gives us the opportunity to have 12 combinations competing at a major championships. Now we have achieved our Olympic Qualification [at the World Equestrian Games], it means that we can try out some combinations in a championship environment,” he said.
"Blair is a long standing event in Scotland and very popular with competitors. It has got a unique setting and the cross-country is run in some of the most stunning countryside of any event in the world but it will be very testing due to its undulations,” Breisner added.
The event forms part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series, an ambitious programme to bring up to 70 world class events to home soil by 2019 to build a strong sporting legacy, and is also supported by VisitScotland’s events directorate EventScotland.
Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport Simon Morton said: “The FEI European Eventing Championships will be one of the biggest sporting events in Scotland next year. As proved by the hugely successful Commonwealth Games, Scotland has all the elements needed to stage outstanding sporting events.
“UK Sport will be working closely with partners from Scotland to make it a memorable championships and continue to build our global reputation for staging world class sport through the Gold Event Series.”
Breisner agrees that Blair will stage a memorable event for both spectators and competitors: "The Scottish equestrian public is always very supportive and enthusiastic and I'm sure we will experience a real championship atmosphere, and all the nations will benefit from the Scottish hospitality.
"As a team we're always very grateful for the support we receive from UK Sport and the National Lottery; we wouldn't be in the position to prepare so many horse and rider combinations without that support."
Whilst Germany has been successful in recent years at Olympic, World and European level, Great Britain will be pulling out all the stops on home soil to regain the team title that they held for 16 consecutive years, from 1995-2009. Bronze medallists at the WEG, the Netherlands will also be medal contenders, while France will be keen to make amends for narrowly missing out on their home turf in August 2014.
The event will run at Blair Castle from 10 -13 September 2015 and day and week passes are on sale now on the Blair 2015 website.