Two championship first-timers among British team revealed for Europeans

  • The four combinations who will make up the British team at the European Para Dressage Championships have been announced.

    Among the British team for the para dressage Europeans at Riesenbeck, Germany (4-10 September), are two riders making their championship debuts, riding alongside two experienced Paralympic and world championship medallists. Three of the selected horses will be competing at their first ever championship.

    The British definite entries for the European Para Dressage Championships, plus one direct reserve, are:

    Grade I

    Gabriella Blake with 14-year-old gelding Strong Beau
    Owner: rider
    Breeder: S Amos (GBR)
    Breeding: by Spinway Blackthorn

    Grade II

    Georgia Wilson with nine-year-old mare Sakura
    Owner: rider and her parents Geoff and Julie Wilson
    Breeder: Geri Eilberg (GBR)
    Breeding: by Supertramp out of a mare by Woodlander Rockstar

    Georgia Wilson with seven-year-old gelding Faside Got The Love (direct reserve)
    Owner: rider and her parents Geoff and Julie Wilson
    Breeder: V Sandison (GBR)
    Breeding: by Grey Flanell out of a mare by San Amour

    Grade V

    Charlotte Cundall with 13-year-old gelding FJ Veyron
    Owner: The Veyron Partnership
    Breeder: Active Equestrian (GBR)
    Breeding: by Vivaldi

    Sophie Wells with seven-year-old mare LJT Egebjerggards Samoa
    Owner: The Lady Joseph Trust
    Breeder: Anders Green Hansen (DEN)
    Breeding: by St Schufro out of a mare by Gribaldi

    Travelling grooms: Liz Geldard and Beth Revill.

    Riesenbeck will be a first championship for both Gabriella and Charlotte, while Georgia and Sophie won medals at the Europeans in 2019, Tokyo Paralympics in 2021 and the World Championships in 2022.

    Georgia is the reigning grade II freestyle European champion, while for Sophie, this will be her 14th consecutive major championship riding for Britain.

    Sophie suffered a blow this week when it was announced that she had to withdraw her top horse and world silver and bronze medallist Don Cara M from contention for a place on the British team at the European Para Dressage Championships. She has instead been selected on her young mare LJT Egebjerggards Samoa (Diana), for whom this will be a first championship appearance.

    Three reserve combinations have also been chosen. As a result of Sophie’s withdrawal of Don Cara, the selectors added Erin Orford and Dragon’s Fire to the nominated list. The reserves are:

    Grade III

    Erin Orford with seven-year-old gelding Dragon’s Fire
    Owner: Neil and Jackie Walker, and Sophie Wells
    Breeder: unknown
    Breeding: by De Niro, out of a mare by Hohenstein

    Grade IV

    Nicola Naylor with 11-year-old gelding Humberto L
    Owner: rider and Rosaline Emery Kay
    Breeder: J Lamers (NED)
    Breeding: by Cachet L out of a mare by Haarlem

    Izzy Palmer with nine-year-old mare Je Suis Adiva
    Owner: Catherine Austin
    Breeder: C Wood (NED)
    Breeding: by Negro out of a mare by Fabriano

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