British squad named for eventing European Championships

The British squad has been named for this year’s eventing European Championships at Luhmühlen, Germany (28 August-1 September 2019). The six riders and horses selected are as follows:

  • Laura Collett with Karen Bartlett, Keith Scott and her own London 52 (groom: Zanie King)
  • Tina Cook with Elisabeth Murdoch’s Billy The Red (groom: Rachel Tolley)
  • Piggy French with Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo, with Trevor Dickens’ Vanir Kamira as a direct reserve horse (groom: Amy Phillips)
  • Kitty King with Diana Bown, Sally Eyre, Samantha Wilson and Sally Lloyd-Baker’s Vendredi Biats (groom: Chloe Fry)
  • Tom McEwen with Fred and Penny Barker, Jane Inns and Tom’s mother Alison’s Toledo De Kerser (groom: Lucy Seddon)
  • Oliver Townend with Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class, with Karyn Shuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan’s Ballaghmor Class as a direct reserve horse (grooms: Suzanne Cooper and Charlotte Hollyfield)

The reserves are:

  • Alex Bragg with Philip and Sally Ellicott’s Zagreb
  • Sarah Bullimore with Christopher and Susan Gillespie and Sarah’s husband Brett’s Reve De Rouet
  • Pippa Funnell with Marek Sebastak and her own Majas Hope
  • Tom McEwen with Barbara Cooper’s Figaro Van Het Broekxhof

Four of the pairs will make up the British team with the other two competing as individuals only. The final decision about who is on the team and who rides as an individual is made during the week of the event.

All the selected riders have made appearances on British squads before, while three of the horses — London 52, Vendredi Biats and Cooley Master Class — will be at their first championship.

Laura and London 52 won the Event Rider Masters at Chatsworth this spring and put in an impressive showing at Aachen, where he was denied a win by a late run-out across country. Kitty and Vendredi Biats claimed the CCI4*-L at Bramham in June and recently took the CCI4*-S at Burgham. Oliver and Cooley Master Class have won the five-star at Kentucky twice.

Two of the pairs were part of Britain’s world gold medal-winning team last year — Piggy French with Quarrycrest Echo and Tom McEwen with Toledo De Kerser. Tina Cook and Billy The Red were team gold medal-winners for Britain at the 2017 European Championships and scored a top-10 result as individuals at last year’s World Equestrian Games.

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Performance manager Dickie Waygood said: “I am very excited about the squad selection, which includes four senior gold medallists from recent championships. It allows Team GBR to be competitive while still investing in the future, with several horses receiving their first team call-up.

“While Tokyo 2020 qualification is already secured, this European Championships is an important part of our Olympic preparations, so I’d like to thank all the riders and their owners for making their horses available for selection.”

British Eventing chief executive Jude Matthews commented: “We were extremely lucky to have so many great combinations on the nominated entries list for selection for these Europeans, and I must thank all our loyal owners for making their horses available for selection.

“Whilst it is inevitably a disappointment for those who have not made the team, I am delighted for those selected and wish them every success.”

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