British eventers ruled out of Olympics.

  • British Eventing have announced this week that they will no longer be considering certain British riders for selection following strong performances from several long-listed riders at Badminton.

    The selection board have decided that they will not be considering Zara Phillips, Rodney Powell or Caroline Pratt for the British Olympic eventing team which will head to Athens in August.

    Zara Phillips was forced to miss Badminton because her only four star ride, Toytown, was injured; Rodney Powell had a disappointing time, retiring Major Sweep on the cross-country, and Caroline Pratt, who recovered well from a disastrous start on Primitive Control, was eliminated on the cross country on her second ride Call Again Cavalier.

    World Class Performance Manager Yogi Breisner explained: “It was a very difficult decision to make, but with other riders going so well last weekend, it is only fair to make the riders aware they stand no chance of selection. We also decided that it was in the best interest for the horse’s future to take Toytown and Zara off the list to give them adequate time to prepare for their autumn campaign.”

    There is further disappointment for these riders, as this decision comes in conjunction with a planned review of the World Class Performance Programme, which means that the trio lose their lottery support from 1 July.

    Yogi added, though, that this was by no means a permanent state of affairs. “The WCPP squad will be reviewed at the end of the season and is very much results based, so the three riders can be added if successful this autumn,” he said.

    Other hopefuls’ spring performances are currently under review, and the Senior Selectors were confident that they would be able to announce the five-strong squad well ahead of the end of May deadline.

    Unfortunate slip-ups last weekend are unlikely to affect Pippa Funnell’s chances, as she has more than proved herself on the international arena, while William Fox-Pitt will have made a strong impression on the mud-loving part-Arab Tamarillo. Leslie Law (pictured) will be keen to further prove the quality of his younger horse, Shear H20 in spite of a wetter experience at Badminton than he might have liked.

    Other riders who performed well at Badminton and are still in contention for flights to Athens include Bumble Thomas with The Psephologist, Sarah Cutteridge with The Wexford Lady and Erbium and Jeanette Brakewell with Over To You.

    Horses and riders currently under consideration for Athens:
    Jeanette Brakewell Over To You
    Kristina Cook Captain Christy
    Sarah Cutteridge The Wexford Lady
    William Fox-Pitt Tamarillo
    Tom Cruise
    Moon Man
    Coastal Ties
    Pippa Funnell Supreme Rock
    Primmore’s Pride
    Walk on Star
    Jurassic Rising
    Polly Jackson Limestone Rise
    Mary King King Solomon
    Leslie Law Shear L’Eau
    Shear H20
    Polly Stockton Tangleman
    Bumble Thomas The Psephologist

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