British Equestrian Vaulting have announced the squad that will compete at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), which takes place in Normandy, France (23 August - 7 September, with the vaulting competition taking place 2 - 5 September in Caen).
Current world champion Joanne Eccles heads up an experienced British line-up, alongside her sister, Hannah Eccles and current English senior female champion Lucy Phillips. Having all competed in the individual female class for Great Britain at the last WEG in Kentucky in 2010, the sisters will also compete the Pas de Deux, which makes its debut at a World Games this year.
Individual Female athletes (in alphabetical order):
- Hannah Eccles (22) from Tillicoultry nr. Stirling, Scotland with WH Bentley, owned by John and Jane Eccles, lunged by her father John Eccles
- Joanne Eccles (25) from Tillicoultry nr. Stirling, Scotland with WH Bentley, owned by John and Jane Eccles, lunged by her father John Eccles
- Lucy Phillips (24) from Solihull, West Midlands with Pitucelli, owned by Bill and Liz Phillips and Lucy, lunged by her mother Liz Phillips
Pas de Deux combination:
- Hannah and Joanne Eccles with WH Bentley, lunged by John Eccles
Chef d’Equipe Lucy Bell, commented; “I’m thrilled for the three girls; they’ve all had great starts to their season this year, with Joanne currently unbeaten in 2014. It’s great to see Pas de Deux being included within the line-up for a World Games and the whole squad are looking forward to heading out to Normandy.”
Will Connell Chef de Mission commented; “Recent results show that we head to WEG with three athletes and their lungers very much at the top of their game. Joanne is obviously the reigning world champion and together with Hannah and Lucy represent a strong trio who will fight hard to achieve medal success for Great Britain.”
On their selection;
Hannah Eccles: “I’m so excited about the competition and really excited, like Joanne, to have the opportunity to contest in the Pas de Deux, it’s something we’ve been doing since 2003, so to compete at this level will be really special.”
Joanne Eccles: “The Pas de Deux is something that Hannah and I have done together since we were very young, so I’m just so chuffed that we’ve been selected to compete, and competing together so close to home will be very special. We know a lot of people are heading out to support us and we can’t wait. It’s going to be different to Kentucky, but I think that it’s nice that everything has its own venue and to be staying in the team hotel with all the other equestrian athletes, it will be amazing to be able to share the experience with them.”
Lucy Phillips: “A WEG is so much different to a vaulting Worlds or Europeans – I think of it more as a kind of equestrian Olympics and it’s such a massive honour to represent Great Britain there. It’s the second Equestrian Games that I’ll be competing at as an individual but it’s the first for my mum as lunger. It’s going to be very different to the last one in Kentucky in 2010, as we obviously won’t have to fly but also the venues are going to be more spread out which will have a different feel.”
The individual vaulting competition is the only event across the eight FEI disciplines that sees men and women compete in separate classes for individual titles. 2014 is the first time Pas-de-Deux will be competed for at a World Equestrian Games.
Equestrian Team GBR is supported by the UK Sport 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.