The four show jumpers who will be carrying British hopes in the 2007 European Championships in Mannheim, Germany have been named.

David McPherson (pictured) riding Pilgrim II will be the British team’s pathfinder. David and Pilgrim II have represented their country in the Samsung Super League with FEI Series in La Baule, Aachen and in Rotterdam where they jumped a double clear round.

David will be followed by the first of the Whitaker family trio, Ellen Whitaker, 21, with Locarno 62. Ellen and Locarno were selected for the 2005 European Championships and appeared on the winning British Super League team in Rotterdam earlier this year.

Ellen will be followed by her uncle John Whitaker, who is making his 10th European Championship appearance and will hopefully add to his eight team and four individual European medals. John will ride Peppermill, who he partnered to a double clear in the Samsung Super League with FEI Series in Rome and to victory in the Loro Piana Grand Prix.

Britain’s anchorman will be Michael Whitaker riding Suncal Portofino 63. Michael, like his brother John, has made numerous European Championship Team appearances since 1985, and has seven team medals, including three team gold and three individual European medals to his name.

The European Championships are Britain’s final opportunity to qualify for the show jumping competition at the 2008 Olympic Games.

The opening ceremony of the European championships takes place this evening. The first competition of the championships, a speed class, kicks off tomorrow at 8:30GMT. The team medals will be decided over competitions on Thursday and Friday, with the individual final on Sunday.

www.em2007.de

Stay in touch with all the latest news from Mannheim with daily updates on the British team’s fortunes on HorseandHound.co.uk