New national pony eventing champion Ella McEwen will spearhead Britain’s eventing squad at this year’s pony European Championships in Moorsele, Belgium (29 July – 2 August).

The full Derby House-sponsored squad is:

  • Ella McEwen, 15, on Catherston Nutsafe, owned by Lizzie Murray and Jennie Loriston-Clarke
  • Jessica Watts, 14, on her own Lord Of The Ring
  • Lottie Kennedy, 16, on her own Darraks Tonto
  • Sophie Martin, 15, on her own Trewithian Bracken
  • Alfie Bradstock, 15, on Montezuma II, owned by Louise Hamilton
  • Katie Bleekman, 16, on Cregaan Scenic, owned by Team Bleekman

Two of the riders have previous squad experience — Ella, who won a team silver medal last year, and Lottie Kennedy, who rode as an individual in 2007.

This is the first year pony squads have consisted of six riders instead of five, and the team of four and the two individuals will be announced after the ponies have been trotted up and been measured by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) officials.

Chairman of the pony selectors Ginnie Keen said: “This group of riders is the most lovely lot of young people and I’m very much looking forward to taking them to Belgium on our quest for medals.”

British Eventing chief executive Mike Etherington-Smith added: “We are lucky as a sport to have so many talented young event riders. I know the selectors had a tough job picking the final squad as there are a lot of strong contenders waiting in the wings.”

The squad have a lot to live up to as the Brits have brought home a team medal every year for the past four years, including two golds, and have also captured three individual medals in that period.

Full report on the final pony trial at Brand Hall in this week’s Horse & Hound, out tomorrow (11 June)