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A US-based rider heads the British team for the Emirates Airline European Endurance Championships, which is taking place at Punchestown two days earlier than originally planned

The British endurance team for the Emirates Airline European Endurance Championships at Punchestown will include a US-based rider new to the home side.

Dominique Freeman, who holds a British passport and was ranked 10th in the world two years ago, flew her horse, Proud Legacy, in for the selection ride at Kings Forest in Suffolk and won the race by a nose.

Two riders from the World Championships team in Jerez have also been chosen: Sarah Kelleway with Ibn Aswana and Katie Smith, whose Shahtamah completed the Cirencester 100-mile FEI ride in third place a fortnight ago.

Two veterans of the silver medal-winning team at Compiègne in 2000 are back: Sally Hall with Bobs Your Uncle and Margaret McKiddie with Bonnie Anne.

Christine Yeoman makes her senior team debut, stepping up from intermediate team success with Candy Cameron’s impressive former ride Eleazar De Landas.

A surprise to many is the omission of Beccy Broughton, who came 18th at Jerez and fourth in the selection ride at King’s Forest, from the principal squad. She has been named as a travelling reserve along with Meriel Moon.

The event will take the form of a one-day 160km (100-mile) ride on 19 September. The organisers decided earlier this week to bring the date forward by two days for logistical reasons involved in running the European Eventing Championships at the same venue.

The race will be run with five vetgates at two venues. The first vetgate will be run from Donard, long-time home of the Wicklow Hills Endurance Festival, with the four subsequent gates at Punchestown itself.

The event, which is being sponsored by Emirates Airlines, also acts as a qualifier for the 2004 World Endurance Championships.

Read the full story, plus the report from the Kings Forest ride in today’s Horse & Hound (31 July), or click here to enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week and save 30%