The British dressage team for the European championships will include the three riders — and horses — who secured Team GBR’s historic Olympic dressage gold.

Double Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin (Valegro), Carl Hester (Uthopia) and Laura Tomlinson (Mistral Hojris) will be joined by Michael Eilberg (Half Moon Delphi) to defend the British title in Denmark this summer (20-25 August)

It is a “mouth watering” prospect, said performance director Will Connell.

“The team will  be focused on giving the British public another opportunity to shout and cheer for the ‘dancing horses’,” he added. 

British dressage team on the podium receiving thier medals

Alongside the London trio (pictured above), Michael Eilberg makes his senior debut. He told H&H he felt “chuffed and honoured” by the call-up, after winning the grand prix special at Hartpury CDI3* with Half Moon Delphi (see report in 11 July H&H magazine on p38).

The line-up is unexpected because Valegro and Uthopia were destined to be sold after London 2012 and there was a question mark over whether Mistral Hojris — who is now 18 — would be too to old contest another major championship.

But a dispute over the legal ownership of Uthopia put that sale on hold and attempts by Valegro’s owners, Carl Hester and Roly Luard, to sell or syndicate him came to nothing. 

And when Laura and ‘Alf’ made a stunning return to competition at Hagen CDI4* (report, 25 April), the selectors were left in no doubt as to who to take to Denmark.

Don’t miss today’s Horse & Hound magazine (11 July, 2013) for an exclusive interview with Charlotte Dujardin on what it’s like to ride Uthopia