Australian-born eventer Matt Ryan hopes to receive approval from the International Equestrian Federation to change his nationality.

The Olympic gold-winning rider announced yesterday that he wishes to become a British rider.

Matt has been based in the UK for many years and has a two-year-old daughter, Millie, with wife Marie.

Matt said: “I have been considering making the switch for a number of years, and it was a very difficult decision to make.

“However, this is my 20th year living in the UK, I have a British family and this feels like home — we have no plans to return to Australia to live.

“The British eventing set-up is second to none and is the envy of the world, and the superb training and back-up system which is available to the elite British riders is hugely appealing.”

Matt said he hopes to make the British team for the European Championships later this year with Bonza Puzzle, who last year was eighth at Badminton and won Kreuth CCI***.

He added: “Looking beyond that there are the 2010 World Games and of course the Olympics: just like all the other riders, I’ll be setting my sights on London 2012!”

  • Do you agree with Matt Ryan’s decision to become a British rider? Do you think he will get a team place at this year’s Europeans? Have your say by joining the H&H forum discussion.

See this week’s H&H for more news on this development.