British showjumping squad hungry for World Equestrian Games success

  • The showjumping squad due to represent Great Britain at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) has been named.

    The team due to travel to Tryon, US, for the Games, which start in less than three weeks’ time on 11 September, comprises:

    • Amanda Derbyshire on Goghman Sport horse LLC’s Luibanta BH
    • William Funnell on the Billy Stud’s Billy Buckingham
    • Holly Smith on her own, Graham Smith and TJ Hall Ltd’s Hearts Destiny
    • William Whitaker on Ludwig and Yasmine Criel’s Utamaro d’Ecaussines

    The travelling reserve is Alexandra Thornton on Dunwalke Ltd’s Cornetto K.

    “We are heading out to Tryon with an exciting team of horses and riders, all of whom have played their part in ensuring our Nations Cup top level status for next year,” said showjumping performance manager Di Lampard.

    “The team includes a mix of horses from Utamaro d’Ecaussines, who has already proven himself at championship level, to a younger group of exceptionally talented horses who have also proven themselves on the world stage.

    “We have had fantastic support from all of the owners as well, whom I am delighted to say will be joining us on our journey, and now we can’t wait to get out there and get on with the job in hand.”

    William Funnell said that having competed at the 2013 Europeans on Billy Congo, where Britain won team gold, it is “very special” to be competing in another championships with Congo’s son.

    “It’s nerve-racking because it’s an important year and the main thing we want to do is do a good job,” he added. “I think we’ve got a good team and we have every chance of doing well.”

    Amanda said it was “fantastic” to be selected, and that the team is looking forward to the championships.

    “This has been the aim at the back of our minds and she [Luibanta BH] has been really special,” she added. “At every team event she has been consistent and she has never let me down so hopefully we can carry that on. I think there’s a good mixture of personalities and there’s a great spirit within the team.”

    William Whitaker agreed that WEG was his aim for this year.

    “Utamaro has had a really good summer so far and he’s put in strong performances at the big competitions, which is what you need when there is a major championship on the horizon,” he said.

    “I’ve not been to a championship in America but I have competed at a few shows out there and they’ve always been to a really high standard; I think they will put on a really good championship.”

    Continues below…

    Holly said “Ted” has been in great form this year and that she is “anxious to do well”.

    “I’ve had him just over a year and this is already a massive achievement,” she added.

    “This will be the first time we’re heading out there, but I really trust in his ability and I think he has the scope to do well.”

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