Hello, it's Rachel here from the Communications department.
Excitement is really ramping up here in the British Equestrian Federation office because the FEI European Championships for Dressage, Para-equestrian Dressage and Showjumping start next week in Rotterdam, with the European Eventing Championships taking place the week after in Luhmühlen. Personally, I can't wait to get out there. My plane for Rotterdam leaves bright and early on Saturday morning, and I'm already mentally packing my suitcase.
A major championships is always a big deal, but this one is particularly key for the British showjumpers. While dressage, eventing and para-equestrian have already secured their places at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, showjumping is yet to qualify. A brilliant performance by the team competing at the FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Ireland last Friday secured us a place in the Nations Cup Final in October, which gives us one final qualifying opportunity, but we'd far rather secure one of the three qualifying places on offer at Rotterdam – if only because my heart might give out from stress if we have to wait until October!
We're sending four really great squads to the Championships, made up of a mixture of up-and-coming talent and familiar faces with plenty of experience. If you haven't seen the announcements yet, you can read the releases for dressage, eventing, para-equestrian dressage and showjumping. Did you know that the squads contain a fantastic five medal-winners from last year's World Equestrian Games in Tryon across three disciplines?
Want to keep up with everything that's happening in Rotterdam and Luhmühlen? We've got you sorted...
There's a page on this website dedicated to all things European Championships 2019. This is your one-stop-shop for all the content we produce before, during and following on from the Championships, so keep checking back regularly so you don't miss anything.
Did you know that the BEF has its own podcast called the British Equestrian Podcast? Matt, the Head of Communications, and I sit down every Wednesday to chat about what's happening in the equestrian world and interview some of the key players, from elite riders to those involved with community projects, and everybody in between. We'll be bringing you episodes from Rotterdam and Luhmühlen at least once a week but hopefully more often, giving you a taste of what happens at a major championships and getting the low-down from some of the riders and support staff out there. I predict that we'll be spending most of the championships running purely on caffeine and adrenaline, so there might be quite a bit of mad rambling...!
You can find the British Equestrian Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify, or on your chosen podcast streaming service. Don't forget to subscribe to get notifications to your phone each time an episode goes live, and we'd love it if you could leave us a review.