Endurance GB has today announced their squad for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which takes place in Normandy, France (23 August – 7 September, with the endurance competition taking place 27-28 August in Sartilly).
The selected team comprises (in alphabetical order):
- Annie Joppe (56) from Goonhavern, Cornwall riding her own Dilmun
- Beth Langley (23) from Uttoxeter, Staffordshire riding Mrs Cate Langley’s HS Ametista
- Annette Masterson (44) from Staffordshire Moorlands riding Mrs Ann Harrison’s Millenium Chorus
- Catriona Moon (32) from Howardian Hills, North Yorkshire riding her own Leila
- Anna Williams (29) from Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire riding Mrs Jane Williams’ Crystal Wissam
The non-travelling reserves are (in ranked order):
- Abigail Tennant (24) from Holme Lacey, Hereford riding Delwyn Hall’s Barik
- Carri Ann Dark (23) from Near Devizes, Wiltshire riding her own Kates Mate
- Annette Masterson riding her own El Sabio
Chef d’Equipe Andrea Baker, commented; “This year sees a complete mix of experienced riders and those progressing on from Young Rider level. It’s exciting for some of the young riders selected as this will be there first senior championships; whilst all five boast previous championship experience for GBR. There’s a great team network behind the squad and we’re looking forward to the final push to this summer’s competition.”
Chef de Mission, Will Connell commented; “Equestrian Team GBR were well represented at the Test Event in 2013 so they will have a good understanding of what lies ahead of them. They have prepared professionally and I wish the riders, their crews and the team staff an enjoyable and successful Games."
Commenting on their selection;
Annie Joppe: “It’s like a dream come true, I’m just over the moon. It’s been a whole team effort; I’ve known my crew for a long time and we’ve been working as a team for several years now, so huge thanks to them and especially to my husband. Dil [Dilman] is an absolute superstar, I’ve brought him up through the ranks and he really is a horse of a lifetime and it will be my second Championship with him. We’ve been working for so long and training so hard and it’s all come together – now we just have to do the job.”
Beth Langley: “It’s my pony’s sixth championships having come up through Young Riders with her, but it’s our first senior Championships so I’m so pleased. It feels completely different to Young Riders but what I’ve been preparing for; really excited about being part of the bigger GB team, I’m definitely going to try and watch other sports out there. My family [who are also Beth’s crew] have never missed a ride and will be out at WEG with me; it’s great to have such great support and backing, and from my sponsors as well.”
Annette Masterson: “Very pleased and honoured to be selected and I’m really looking forward to representing Great Britain out in Normandy. It will be my third championships but I think it will be very special because it’s a WEG. Lenny is a half-brother to El Sabio [Annette’s reserve horse] and will be competing at his second championships, after the Europeans last year.”
Catriona Moon: “I am absolutely thrilled; I’d been shortlisted for Jerez (2002) and Aachen (2006), and had to pull out before Kentucky qualifying so for fourth time round, to make it is indescribable. This is the one I’ve been trying for, it’s just amazing. To have mum there [Jackie Moon, who is head crew for Catriona] is just going to be extra special, and also to be alongside my best mate from university, who’s been crewing for me since 2001, Zofia [also part of Catriona’s crew], is going to be amazing.”
Anna Williams: “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits, it’s been a long journey and I’m really very, very happy. It’s my first senior championships; it’s always something you strive for, to represent your country, and WEG does have a special atmosphere. To see it from a riders take will be a whole different thing; last year we decided to move back to the UK from Switzerland, it definitely feels now that we made the right decision. I owe a huge thanks to my parents, how they’ve supported my move back to the UK and my aim for WEG, and to the whole of my crew. It doesn’t get better than this, it’s the pinnacle, it’s breath-taking.”
All riders compete as individuals at the Championships, as well as representing Great Britain in the team competition. The one-day competition is set over a distance of 160km and sees five vet checks during the course - horses must be declared fit at the pre-ride vetting and each vet gate in order to progress.
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 and Horrell, Land Rover, Mears Country Jackets, NAF, NuuMed, Point Two Equine, Tagg Equestrian and Toggi.