The British riders making up the squad for Team GB’s first point-scoring Nations Cup competition of the season has been revealed.
Ben Maher, Michael Whitaker, John Whitaker, Holly Gillott and William Whitaker will head to Italy for the Rome Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup next week.
The riders were selected by for World Class showjumping performance manager Di Lampard.
The competition will be held at the Rome CSIO5* International Show, with the Nations Cup due to take part on Friday (22 May) at 3.45pm local time (4.45pm UK time).
Ben Maher has been selected with 10-year-old British Bred chestnut mare Diva II, owned by Tatiana Korsakova.
Michael Whitaker and the 10-year-old grey stallion Cassionato, owned by Beverley Widdowson or with his own and Beatrice Mertens 15 year-old dark bay gelding Amai II.
John Whitaker with his own and wife Clare’s 13-year-old bay stallion Argento.
Holly Gillott and her own 10-year-old liver chestnut gelding Dougie Douglas.
William Whitaker, with his partner Elisabeth Fredlund’s 12-year-old dark brown gelding Fandango III.
Also in division one are Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
Each country competes for points against four other teams at four events throughout the series.
The three remaining point scoring competitions for Britain are: Rotterdam (17-21 June), Dublin (5-9 August) and Hickstead (30 July–2 August).
Last year the team scored some mixed results throughout the series.
Despite a win in the St Gallen leg in May, some disappointing performances followed and Britain remained in the relegation zone in the penultimate round of the Nations Cup at Hickstead last summer.
However, the team of Ben Maher, Scott Brash, Spencer Roe and Joe Clee put in a strong performance to finish second in the final leg of the series, in Dublin — earning Britain a place in the Barcelona final and enough points to avoid relegation to division two of the series.
Last year’s series was won by the Netherlands.
The other legs of the competition are: La Baule, France, (14-17 May), St Gallen, Switzerland, (4-7 June) and Falsterbo Sweden (9-12 July).