The show jumping team members to represent Britain at this summer’s Olympic Games in Hong Kong, will include two first timers.
Achieving a lifelong ambition, Tim Stockdale (pictured right) will compete John Bosher’s 11-year-old grey mare Fresh Direct Corlato.
After solid performances and grand prix wins throughout the 2007/2008 World Cup series, Tim sacrificed his place at the finals with “Ruby” to focus on preparing her for the Olympics. He has been one of Britain’s strongest performers in this year’s Super League series.
Tim said: “I am over the moon! My mare Corlato has gone fantastically well and she deserves the opportunity to jump at the Olympic Games.
“It is great for everyone concerned; my team at home, my owners and sponsors, who have all had belief in me. The Olympic Games is everything I have worked for and a huge honour. I am a very lucky man to have such a fantastic horse to ride”.
The second debutante is Ben Maher, who will partner Daniel Paul’s 10-year-old mare, Rolette. He has ridden the horse for just one year and was only jumping national-level classes with her 10 months ago.
However, she has progressed quickly and won Maastricht and Mechelen grands prix later in the year.
Ben said: “It hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I can’t quite believe that I’m going! Rolette’s going from strength to strength and I believe her best is yet to come. To ride at the Olympic Games is everyone’s dream – I feel incredibly lucky.”
The third mare on the team will be Gillespie Equestrian’s 14-year-old Suncal Portofino 63, ridden by Michael Whitaker.
Michael’s top horse regularly features at the top end of the line-up at international competitions and has been a stalwart of British teams in recent years.
He said: “It is a great honour to be selected for my fifth Olympic Games. We have a great team and I am very lucky to be riding such a great horse as Portofino 63.”
And the team would not be complete without Britain’s number one, John Whitaker, riding Rebecca Stones’s 11-year-old stallion Peppermill.
This pairing have produced some very strong performances on this year’s Super League series and recorded many major wins during their time together.
John said: “I am very pleased to be selected, Beijing will be the sixth Olympics I have been to. I think we have a good Team with a good chance of success and I have a good horse in Peppermill.”
Reserve is Nick Skelton riding Lisa Hales’s 13-year-old stallion Russel, who is by the same stallion as Corlato, Corofino I.