The World Equestrian Games showjumping competition at Tryon looks set to be as exciting as ever. With home advantage and fabulous horses, the American squad will be hard to beat as a team and individually.
While it will be a challenge for the Brits to bring home a medal, the team are certainly not short of talent, so if everything goes right, we could all be celebrating. And to gain Olympic qualification, countries need to be among the top six teams here, so it’s not just about the podium places.
The Irish are a team to watch. They’ve been ultra-consistent all season and finished a close second to Belgium on the Longines European Division One Nations Cup league.
The Canadian team have a knack for saving their best performances for when it really matters.
From a European perspective, the Belgians have been sensational all season, while the Germans have had a quiet year by their usual high standards. With some exciting younger combinations selected, Germany could bounce back in Tryon.
No one should write off the Netherlands, who took team and individual gold in 2014. weden also has a great championship record, but France may struggle after being hit by horse injuries.
Because showjumping is now such a global sport, there’s always the chance of a surprise result, such as that by the buoyant Mexicans at Dublin last month.
Israel has entered a first-ever showjumping team and with Australia and New Zealand selecting combinations we don’t often get the chance to see, the stage is set for a mighty battle.
WEG 2014 showjumping team medals
Gold: The Netherlands