British show jumping team manager Derek Ricketts has announced the team for next months’ crucial European Championships in Mannheim, Germany. The championships are Britain’s last opportunity to qualify a team for next year’s Beijing Olympics.

The riders on whom he will pin his hopes of qualification will be:

  • David McPherson (riding Peter Nagel-Tornau’s Pilgrim II)
  • Tim Stockdale pictured (riding John Bosher’s Fresh Direct Corlato)
  • Ellen Whitaker (riding her father, Steven, and Dawn Makin’s Locarno 62)
  • John Whitaker (riding Rebecca Stones’s Peppermill)
  • Michael Whitaker (riding Gillespie Equestrian’s Suncal Portofino)

Derek Ricketts said the team was “solid going forward to the European Championships in the hope of securing our 2008 Olympic ticket”.

He added: “There is always an element of luck on the day, but we go forward to Mannheim with a positive outlook.”

Twenty-seven countries have declared their intention to compete in this year’s Championships, with 20 entering a national team. Olympic team qualification goes to the highest-placed three teams, excluding Germany, Holland, Ukraine and Switzerland, who have already qualified.

British team stalwart John Whitaker added that he was “quietly confident” of Britain’s chances.

www.em2007.de

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