Who will be on the British dressage squad for the Europeans? H&H’s dressage editor makes her predictions [H&H VIP]

  • Barring disaster, three of the four team places available in dressage will be filled by Charlotte Dujardin (Valegro, pictured), Carl Hester (Nip Tuck) and Fiona Bigwood (Atterupgaards Orthilia).

    These three combinations have been posting emphatic scores in top company and should be Britain’s three counting scores.

    However, it takes four to build a team, and the final spot is more tricky to predict. Despite having sold his top horse, Half Moon Delphi, Michael Eilberg is still very much in the running. Aboard Marakov, he has posted scores between 70-77% in their last four tests, with a 2015 international grand prix average of 71.02%.

    Spencer Wilton heads to Hagen this week with Supernova for the four-star classes, where a strong score would put him firmly in the fourth-place frame.

    Laura Tomlinson is also in Germany with Unique, though this year’ championships are probably a year too soon for the tall and talented 11-year-old.

    Selectors will have their eye on the all-female Nations Cup team at Hagen, too, as Lara Griffith (Rubin Al Asad) and H&H’s columnist Anna Ross (Die Callas) bid to catch the eye.

    Lara only debuted the Rubin Royal son at CDI level in February of this year, but are averaging a creditable 69.19% in the grand prix test internationally.

    Alice Oppenheimer (Headmore Delegate) and Hayley Watson-Greaves are also in the running, though a disappointing 64.44% when Rubins Nite got his tongue over the bit in Rotterdam may well have dented Hayley’s chances.

    Alice broke the 70% barrier in March at Vidauban and has been knocking on that door ever since, but yet to repeat the feat. There are surely many more team selection opportunities in the future for this young and precocious rider.