The British team has been announced for the 2021 European Dressage Championships, which will take place from 7 to 12 September in Hagen, Germany.
The four riders selected are:
- Charlotte Dujardin with Renai Hart, Carl Hester’s and her own Gio; groom Alan Davies
- Lottie Fry with Van Olst Horses’ and her own Everdale; groom Steven Caley, with Dark Legend as a direct reserve
- Carl Hester with Sandra Biddlecombe, Charlotte Dujardin, Lady Anne Evans’ and his own En Vogue; groom Lucy Scudamore
- Gareth Hughes with Judy Firmston-Williams’ and his own Sintano Van Hof Olympia; groom Steph Sharples
The British team for the European Dressage Championships comprises the same four riders who travelled out to the Tokyo Olympics, with Charlotte, Carl and Lottie bringing home Olympic bronze for Britain. Carl, Charlotte and Lottie will each partner their Olympic rides, although Netherlands-based Lottie also has her 2019 senior team horse, Dark Legend, listed as a direct reserve. She rode the 13-year-old Zucchero gelding to become under-25 European champion in 2018.
Gareth also travelled to Tokyo as Britain’s reserve rider, but was not called up to compete. However, with four on a team at the European Championships, rather than three, Gareth will now have the chance to ride at his fourth senior championship. He competed at the 2013 Europeans and 2014 World Equestrian Games with DV Stenkjers Nadonna, and was the best-performing British rider at the 2019 Europeans with Classic Briolinca. Hagen will be a championship debut for the 11-year-old Sandro Hit gelding Sintano Van Hof Olympia.
Two non-travelling reserve combinations, listed in order, are:
- Laura Tomlinson with Ursula Bechtolsheimer’s and her own DSP Rose of Bavaria; groom Bea Snudden-Burnham
- Emile Faurie with Theodora Livanos’ and his own Dono Di Maggio OLD; groom Victoria Richards
If called up from the non-travelling reserve position, Laura Tomlinson would make her return to the British team for the first time since winning team gold and individual bronze at the London Olympics in 2012 with Mistral Hojris. She would ride her current top horse, the 11-year-old Bordeaux x Florestan I mare DSP Rose Of Bavaria, with whom she recently scored an international personal best en route to a double win at Donaueschingen, and were longlisted for Tokyo. By September, Laura will be seven months pregnant with her fourth child, who is due in November.
Emile last rode on the British team in 2018, competing Dono Di Maggio at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, and helping bring home team bronze. He and the 14-year-old Dimaggio son have had a string of good international results so far in 2021, including a double win on their last outing, and were longlisted for the Tokyo Olympics. If called up this will be Emile’s seventh European Championship appearance.
British Under-25 European dressage squad also announced
The Under-25 European Dressage Championships will also be held in Hagen over the same week.
The following combinations have been selected to compete for Britain:
- Lucy Amy, 23, with Richard Amy’s Rudy
- Lewis Carrier, 24, with his own Diego V
- Alex Harrison, 24, with his own Diamond Hill
- Ellie McCarthy, 24, with Spencer McCarthy’s GB Londero V Worrenberg
The team’s non-travelling reserve is:
- Dylan Deutrom with Matt Hicks and Sarah Warry’s Sunlit Uplands
All selection decisions are subject to the athletes and horses maintaining fitness and performance.
Britain’s dressage performance manager Caroline Griffith said: “I’m very much looking forward to working with both teams in Hagen. The venue and organising committee are renowned for the ability for putting on championships at this level and I know the environment will encourage some great competition.
“The senior riders are all fresh from the medal inspiration of Tokyo and our under-25s have worked hard this year despite the challenges of Covid-19 and are ready to perform to their best in Hagen. I’m grateful to our reserves and their owners who play an important role in our bid for success.
“It is testament to the preparation and welfare management of our Tokyo horses by both the riders’ home team and our World Class practitioners that they are ready to compete in Hagen. All of them have bounced back exceptionally well and are ready to take on Europe’s best.”
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