Despite the news that British star Hello Sanctos isn’t available for the Europeans — Scott Brash hasn’t been ruled out of the team.
The world number one has been putting in strong performances with nine-year-old mare Hello M’Lady. He has Hello Forever, also nine, in the running as well.
“Hello M’Lady is fresh off the back of victory in a five-star grand prix in Monaco and if she can continue her form in Hickstead [in the King George] and Dublin [Nations Cup] we hope she will be a serious contender for team selection. We would be delighted if she can help GBR achieve Olympic qualification,” he said.
“This will also give Hello M’Lady experience at championship level, which will be invaluable for her and will hopefully provide Britain with another available horse for future selection over the next few years.”
The British Equestrian Federation’s World Class performance manager Di Lampard told H&H that Hello M’Lady is very much on the radar.
“It is of course a shame for the country [that Hello Sanctos is unavailable], but we are looking forward to seeing how Scott and Hello M’Lady perform [at Hickstead and Dublin].
However, there are also strong bids from other riders, who have been jumping well this season.
“Many horses and riders have been in good form, which makes my decision more difficult, but it’s a good position to be in,” Di added.
“However, as it is the last chance to qualify for Rio there is a certain amount of pressure. We have excellent horses and athletes though, so with a bit of luck on the day we’re looking strong.
“We have fantastic team spirit from a great squad of riders.”
♦ H&H acting showjumping editor Hannah Lemieux gives her predictions on who might get the call up:
“Alongside Scott and Hello M’Lady I’d expect to see John Whitaker on Argento and Ben Maher with Diva II, Aristo Z or Cella.
Both riders have been consistent this season and winners on the Global Champions Tour.
“Guy Williams could be in with a chance, with either Zaire or Titus, after winning the grand prix at Lummen in April and being part of the winning Nations Cup team in Rotterdam.
“A further trio of Whitakers — Robert, William and Michael — have also been on form this year.
“The potential newer faces are Holly Gillott, who was on great form at Hickstead, Yazmin Pinchen, who won at Bolesworth, WEG rider Spencer Roe, Harriet Nuttall and Joe Clee.”