Surprise omission from British World Equestrian Games eventing team

  • The British Equestrian Federation has announced its World Equestrian Games eventing squad for next month’s championships.

    Ros Canter, Tina Cook, Piggy French, Tom McEwen and Gemma Tattersall will all travel to Tryon, US, for the Games, which run from 11 to 23 September.

    Ros is named with her own and Caroline Moore’s Allstar B, Tina with Elizabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy The Red, Piggy with Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo, Tom with his own, Jane Inns and Ali McEwen’s Toledo De Kerser and Gemma with her own and the Soul Syndicate’s Arctic Soul.

    Ros and Allstar B were on the team that won gold at last year’s European Championships in Strzegom, and the combination finished in third place at Badminton this year. Strzegom team-mates Tina and Billy The Red fell at Burnham Market in March leading to Tina missing Badminton, but the combination won the CIC3* at Hartpury last weekend.

    Piggy and Quarrycrest Echo won the Chatsworth ERM leg in May, while Tom and Toledo De Kerser finished seventh at Badminton. Gemma and her 2015 European Championships ride finished fourth at Badminton this year.

    Eventing performance manager Dickie Waygood said: “This year’s team selection was extremely close, with great strength and depth coming through the nominated list.

    “We head to WEG with a strong squad and I look forward to continuing to work with the selected athletes in the build-up, to ensure we are best prepared for Tryon.”

    Current world number one Oliver Townend, who was long-listed on three horses, Ballaghmor Class, Cooley Master Class and Cooley SRS, is not included in the squad.

    Oliver and Cooley SRS were also on the gold medal-winning British team at Strzegom, and the combination finished second to Jonelle Price at Badminton this year, with his 2017 Burghley winner Ballghmor Class finishing in fifth place.

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    The previous week, Oliver had won the Kentucky Three-Day Event on Cooley Master Class.

    Oliver had a fall from Ballaghmor Class in the three-star at Aachen in mid-July, but the combination went on to win a CIC3* at Burgham at the end of the month.

    In a statement, Oliver said: “Obviously, I am hugely disappointed not to have been selected to represent Great Britain at the 2018 World Equestrian Games as the current world number one.

    “I have given it everything I can with outstanding results, especially winning in Kentucky on Cooley Master Class and gaining second and fifth-placed finishes at Badminton with Cooley SRS and Ballaghmor Class on the back of winning Burghley.

    “It is not to be for me this time, but I wish all five riders selected for the team the very best in Tryon and I will be supporting them fully in their efforts to win the world title after our success in the European Championships last September.”

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