British Dressage has slimmed down its Lottery-funded world class performance squad for 2003 from eight to six elite riders.

Nicky Barrett, Richard Davison, Emile Faurie, Nicola McGivern, Sandy Phillips and Laura Richardson will receive specialist training for major international events, with the main aim being to qualify for the Athens Olympics at this year’s European Championships on home soil at Hickstead (13-17 August).

Richard, Laura and Emile were members of the team that finished 10th at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez last autumn. Sandy Phillips, wife of Olympic event rider and American team coach Mark Phillips, was placed in several international competitions last summer.

Nicky Barrett, the current Mercedez-Benz National Champion, is in her third year on the senior squad and she was a non-travelling reserve at WEG.She took the ride on the Isabell Werth-produced Giorgio S in 1999 and won the grand prix freestyle at the Saumur CDI.

Nicola McGivern is the only debutante on the squad, having made a greatimpact on the scene in 2002 when she was the highest placed British rider at the Norten Hardenburg CDI on Active Walero, a horse she had owned for just three months. The pair then went on to win the grand prix special at the Hickstead CDI.

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