Nearly 40 riders have volunteered to be considered for selection for the senior endurance squad for this September’s World Equestrian Games.

Under new rules, Endurance GB has abandoned the long-list system in favour of riders putting their own names forward and those on the list have been invited to follow their own programme for the season.

Final selection will be made after the Lindum Spirit Ride at Market Rasen (24-28 July).

Names in the frame for Jerez include several former international team members. Jill Thomas, former European Champion, has asked rising star Tarafiya to be considered. Fellow Cornish rider and one of Britain’smost consistent performers Jane James is on the list with Rowangay Garnet and Steel Tobias.

Long-time British team member Jenny Jackson has put Burning Best up for selection, while her daughter Rachael Ingvaldson is in contention with Hannah.

Beccy Broughton, fresh from her completion at the World Endurance Cup in Dubai with Murmansk, will be a strong contender, while Sarah Tyson, enjoying a good season with her mother’s Valtnor Park Armistice,will be hoping to make the step up from the intermediate squad.

Melanie Fauske, who took part in a pre-ride for the Jerez event 18 months ago, has put forward both her veteran Schenkers Samurai and Monnington Nirvana.

There are three men on the list, Rod Leight (Prince Of Barrow), Jim Lane (Safaniya and Murtada) and Derek Francis (Vermicelli, Simbar and Warrior).

Irish challenge at Punchestown

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum will be among riders lining up for the first Emirates Airlines CEI** International Endurance Challenge at Punchestown (19 May).

The event, a pre-ride for the 2003 European Championships, is set to be thebiggest endurance competition to be staged in Ireland. The course, a flat, fast track below the Wicklow Hills based at Punchestown racecourse, will run over 120km.

The ride will form part of the FEI Emirates Endurance World Rankings series.

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