European Championships Selection boosts Jessica's Olympic dream

Wiltshire based teenager Jessica Mendoza's Olympics prospects have been handed a major boost after she was include in the British showjumping squad for the upcoming FEI European Championships, in Aachen, Germany.

The 19 year old, who has more recently based herself in Holland, has been named in the four-strong party for the championships which take place between August 19-23.

The Europeans are the last major Championship before next year’s Olympic Games in Rio, offering those selected the chance to cement their places at the final qualifying event.

Mendoza - a member of the Lottery-funded World Class Programme Podium Potential squad - and horse Spirit T have been named alongside Belgium-based Joe Clee and Utamaro d’Ecaussines, Bishops Stortford's Ben Maher and Diva II and veteran Michael Whitaker with Cassionato, while France-based Guy Williams is a reserve with Titus II.

Mendoza said: ""Spirit has jumped absolutely brilliantly this summer and deserves it.

"It (Europeans) was never in my plan at the beginning of the year, but she kind of made it the plan as she just kept getting better and better each time we stepped up a level. I feel that I know her inside out - we trust each other totally."

Britain's Chef d’Equipe Di Lampard said: "We are all entirely focussed on the job we have ahead of us. Qualifying for Rio is at the forefront of our minds and we are absolutely committed to giving Great Britain the chance to defend the Team Gold title which was won at London 2012.

"We move forward to Aachen as a strong united team and are looking forward to the Championships and all it brings.''

All four selected riders will contest the team competition, with the three best scores counting, while the top 25 horse and rider combinations will be invited to contest the Grand Prix from which the individual medals are decided.

There will be three Olympic qualifying places awarded from the 2015 European Championships in Aachen, to the highest-placed nations not already qualified after the Team Final.

The Netherlands, France, Germany and Sweden have already acheived Olympic qualification.


Mendoza recently finished fourth in the King George V Gold Cup with Spirit T at Hickstead.

 

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