The British long-list for the FEI European Dressage Championships has been released today (25 July) by selectors David Trott, Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Linda Whetstone.
Only horses and riders listed below can be chosen for the final team of four, who will be heading to Gothenburg, Sweden, next month for the championships (22-26 August).
It is the first championship team since before the 2011 Europeans in Rotterdam that does not feature Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, as the 15-year-old has retired from competition.
Charlotte’s trainer and mentor Carl Hester is listed with his Rio 2016 Olympic ride Nip Tuck, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Don Ruto x Animo.
Carl and Jane De La Mare’s Nip Tuck (Barney) has not competed since Omaha CDI in April. Barolo, the horse that Carl had been campaigning as his Europeans back-up, is not on the list and therefore cannot be used as a reserve horse.
Unsurprisingly, Spencer Wilton has also been included on Jen Goodman’s Supernova II (14 years old, by De Niro x Weltmeyer) after a cracking season which has seen them unbeaten in their last five international starts, all with scores over 75%.
Runners-up to Spencer and Supernova at Hartpury, Lara Butler with Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer’s 15-year-old Rubin Royal gelding Rubin Al Asad, have also made the long-list.
Emile Faurie has two horses in the mix: Elena Knyagincheva’s Lollipop 126 (a 13-year-old Lord Sinclair x Welt Hit gelding) and also Hof Kasselmann’s 16-year-old Weekend Fun, by Welt Hit II x Rubenstein I.
Michael Eilberg is in the hunt with his 17-year-old team faithful Marakov (a Latvian gelding by Rufs), with whom he made the switch from showjumping many years ago and since excelled at top level.
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Hayley Watson-Greaves is in with a shout with her own Rubins Nite. The 13-year-old gelding by Rubin Royal — the same sire as Rubin Al Asad — is famed for his tremendous extended trot.
Gareth Hughes has a new team hopeful in Anne Keen’s 12-year-old Don Carissimo. The Don Crusador gelding has less than a year’s experience at grand prix, but is already proving a very reliable partner in the ring.
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