Medal counts, stable names and quirks – what you need to know about the British squad for the Eventing Europeans

  • The British riders who will head to the eventing European Championships were announced earlier this month. Now that the dust has settled, what do you think of the squad?

    We’ve pulled together a few key – and fun – facts so you’re in the know ahead of next month’s big event.

    As a reminder, the selected British riders and horses for the eventing European Championships are:

    Ros Canter with Lordships Graffalo
    Laura Collett with London 52
    Yasmin Ingham with Banzai Du Loir
    Tom Jackson with Capels Hollow Drift
    Kitty King with Vendredi Biats
    Tom McEwen with JL Dublin

    Interesting facts about the British eventing squad

    All the pairs on the squad are either five-star winners or runners-up. Ros and Lordships Graffalo won Badminton Horse Trials this year and were second last year, Laura and London 52 have taken Pau Horse Trials 2020, Badminton 2022 and Luhmühlen Horse Trials 2023, Yasmin and Banzai Du Loir were second at the Kentucky Three-Day Event 2022, Tom Jackson and Capels Hollow Drift landed the runner-up spot at Burghley Horse Trials last year, Kitty and Vendredi Biats were second at Luhmühlen in June and Tom McEwen and JL Dublin claimed the second step of the podium at Kentucky this season.

    All the horses except Capels Hollow Drift have previous championship experience, though JL Dublin’s was with former rider Nicola Wilson, rather than Tom McEwen. He did win double gold on that occasion, though!

    Talking of medals, this squad have an impressive haul, with 12 senior championship gongs between them (five for Ros, three for Tom, two for Kitty, one for Yasmin and one for Laura).

    What we’re building up to saying is, in short, this squad is good. Not just good. Excellent, in fact. They will start as favourites for team gold and all have a chance of an individual medal.

    Tom Jackson is likely to lag a little behind the other in the first phase – we’d hope for low to mid 20s scores from the other five and high 20s for him. But if Tom McEwen and Andrew Hoy’s individual silver and bronze in Tokyo taught us anything, it’s that finishing on a 28 or 29 can still give you a medal chance in today’s sport. Of course, the Olympic format does offer an extra opportunity for leaderboard climbing because it has two showjumping rounds for individual gongs, whereas there is just one final-phase round at the Europeans.

    Want to know all the horses stable names? Of course you do! Lordships Graffalo is Walter, London 52 is Dan, Banzai Du Loir is just Banzai – or sometimes Banana, Capels Hollow Drift is Walshy, Vendredi Biats is Froggy and JL Dublin is Dubs.

    Like all top horses, these chaps have their quirks. Walter occasionally licks cars… Banzai always likes to get down in the mud and roll at competitions… Froggy spent a lot of time ditching his riders in his early career.

    All these horses have been pictured on the front cover of H&H, with 21 appearances between them. For the record…

    • Lordships Graffalo’s headshot appeared marking him as one to watch on 22 June 2022 and he’s featured for his Badminton win (11 May 2023) and alongside Ros in an issue including a feature on how they won there (1 June 2023).
    • London 52 made his cover debut when he won Pau (29 October 2020) and we followed up with an interview, with him and Laura on the cover on 19 November 2020. Another picture from Pau appeared on the next spring’s show guide cover (25 Feb 2021). The pair were featured alongside their team-mates after Olympic gold in Tokyo (5 August 2021) and in the compilation picture on the Olympic souvenir issue (19 August 2021). Their Badminton win was next up (12 May 2022), then early this year a headshot when Dan featured in our Spotlight series (26 January 2023) and in the spring he was pictured on the gallops accompanying an Access All Areas feature on Laura’s Badminton preparations (30 March 2023). Their recent Luhmühlen win also made the cut (22 June 2023).
    • Yas and Banzai have three cover appearances – their Blenheim win (23 September 2021), their Kentucky second (5 May 2022) and their worlds individual gold (22 September 2022).
    • Capels Hollow Drift and Tom were interviewed with a cover in 29 September 2022 issue after their Burghley success and Walshy’s headshot is also on the cover of this week’s magazine (13 July 2023) as he features in Spotlight to tie in with selection.
    • Vendredi Biats was another to make the cover alongside a Spotlight appearance, in an earlier iteration of this series called We Can’t Wait To See…, during the sport-starved Covid year of 2020 (14 May).
    • JL Dublin graced the cover when he won the CCI4*-L at Bicton (Bramham replacement fixture) with Nicola (17 June 2021), again when he won European individual gold that year (30 September 2021) and then alongside Nicola for a follow-up interview (6 January 2022).

    We can’t wait to support all the British riders at the eventing European Championships next month. H&H’s expert reporters will be bringing you all the headlines in the run up to the championship (9-13 August), as well as big name interviews, analysis of the action, videos and beautiful photography throughout every day of competition in Haras du Pin, France. A HorseandHound.co.uk unlimited website subscription gives you instant access, wherever you are, to all of our coverage with no limit on how much you can read, from as little as £1 a week. Sign up now

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...