British team debutante to join medallists for European Championships

Lottie Fry will make her first senior championship team appearance for Britain, having been selected as part of the line-up announced today (1 August) for the European Championships in Rotterdam.

Netherlands-based Lottie, 23, will ride alongside Olympic gold medallists Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester, as well as European and world team medallist Gareth Hughes.

She will partner her own and the Van Olsts’ 11-year-old Zucchero gelding Dark Legend, with whom she won individual gold at the under-25 European Championships in 2018. This year, the pair have performed extremely successfully for Britain on Nations Cup teams at Compiegne, Geesteren and, most recently, CHIO Aachen, where they scored plus-74% in the grand prix and plus-75% in the special.

Charlotte Dujardin will ride her 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) double bronze medallist Mount St John Freestyle, at her first European Championships since 2015. Emma and Jill Blundell’s 10-year-old Fidermark mare has been unbeaten so far in 2019, and has not scored under 80% since WEG.

Sonnar Murray-Brown’s 12-year-old Latimer gelding Erlentanz has been selected as Charlotte’s direct reserve ride.

Carl Hester will also partner his WEG medallist; his own, Ann Cory and Anne Evans’ 11-year-old Diamond Hit son Hawtins Delicato. Carl has enjoyed a busy show schedule with “Del” this year, and the gelding, who finished sixth in the grand prix at WEG and ninth in the special, has grown in confidence throughout 2019.

Gareth Hughes completes the quartet riding the 13-year-old Trento B mar Classic Briolinca, with whom he led Britain to victory in the Compiegne Ntaions Cup in May this year. This will be Gareth’s first team appearance since winning team silver at WEG 2014 — he was forced to withdraw from the 2017 Europeans at the 11th hour after Don Carissimo failed the trot-up in Gothenburg.

The first reserve is four-time Olympian Richard Davison with his homebred Lingh gelding Bubblingh, a combinations that was on the winning British Nations Cup team at Compiegne.

The second reserve is Lara Butler with Wilfred and Ursula Bechtolsheimer’s Rubin Al Asad. The pair were reserves for the Rio Olympics in 2016, the European Championships in 2017 and WEG in 2018.

The grooms are Alan Davies, Lucy Scudamore, Claire James and Steph Sharples.

Performance manager Caroline Griffith said “I am absolutely thrilled to be working with such a fantastic team this year.

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“All the combinations have had phenomenal results in preparation including several personal bests and scores which evidence they are among the best in the world. The selectors have included young horses, older horses, young riders and more experienced riders; combined it has all the ingredients of an amazing recipe for success.

“I feel honoured and privileged to be working with the riders, owners and grooms all of whom play such a major part in making this happen and I have absolutely no doubt that we head to the championships excited by the opportunity to show our capabilities to the full.  The riders have asked me to thank everyone for their support, they are keen now to get on with the job and make Team GBR proud.”

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