The final three European spots for the dressage competition at Rio 2016 were determined at last week’s European Championships (12-16 August).

Spain, Sweden and France all qualified for next summer’s Olympics after strong performances in Aachen.

The pressure was off Team GBR as the riders’ secured qualification at last summer’s World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, where they won team silver.

At last week’s Europeans’ the top three finishers were the Netherlands (gold) Great Britain (silver) and Germany (bronze). As all three countries had qualified already, the slots fell to the next placed nations.

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Spain finished fourth, Sweden fifth and France sixth.

The Spanish team was spear-headed by Beatriz Ferrer-Salat (pictured, above).

The rider also picked up individual bronze in the freestyle with Delgado scoring 82.714% behind Charlotte Dujardin in Gold (89.054%) and Kristina Bröring-Sprehe in silver (88.804%).

Sweden’s best results came from Patrik Kittel and Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén, who both pulled the team’s average up with plus-74% scores.

Denmark — the team who finished fourth behind Britain, Germany and the Netherlands at London 2012 — failed to secure a place and will have to rely on individual FEI rankings places to try to make up a composite team.

Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland and Italy also remain without teams at Rio.

From outside of Europe, Australia and the USA have already qualified, with Brazil as host nation gaining an automatic spot at the Games.

The British showjumpers are now heading to Germany to attempt to qualify, after failing to do so at last year’s WEG.

Michael Whitaker, Ben Maher, Jessica Mendoza and Joe Clee will be competing at the Championships, which start tomorrow (Wednesday 19 August) in Aachen.

For full dressage result and report don’t miss this week’s issue of H&H, out Thursday (20 August).