Commenting on yesterday's announcement of the squad to represent Great Britain at the FEI Longines European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden (21-27 August 2017) British Dressage Chief Executive, Jason Brautigam said “This is a very strong team with a lot of experience at this level, with two of our Olympic silver medal winners from Rio last year, Carl and Spencer, both retaining their places after continuing their great form this season. It is also fantastic to welcome back Emile and Gareth to the team, after their last appearances at the European Championships in 2011 and World Equestrian Games in 2014 respectively, with horses making their championship debuts.
“While we may have had to say farewell to Valegro, our star performer of the past five years, who was always going to be difficult to replace, it is testament to the strength in depth of Team GBR that we can still field such a strong line-up of experienced riders.
“We wish Caroline and the team the best of luck in Sweden, as well as expressing our thanks and appreciation to the owners, staff and home teams for all of their support on the journey to Gothenburg."
The British senior teams are supported by the BEF’s UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme.
Comments from selected athletes on their selection:
Emile Faurie: “I am thrilled to be back in the squad, representing my country at what will be my sixth European Championships. Weekend Fun is a very reliable horse at 16 years-old and I am excited to be taking him to his first championships. My focus now is to make sure both horses are fresh and healthy and in a routine ready for Gothenburg.”
Carl Hester MBE: “Barney [Nip Tuck] just goes from strength to strength and has exceeded all our expectations. Gothenburg will be our fourth straight championship appearance and at just 13, Jane and I couldn’t ask for more. It’ll be a tough task but we’ll certainly do our best. Our pony team recently showed just what ‘girl power’ can achieve with a bronze medal; now it’s down to us guys to show what we can do!”
Gareth Hughes: “It's always an honour to be selected to represent your country. Anne and Steve Keen have owned Darcy [Don Carissimo] since he was a foal, so it's been an amazing journey for them. This is Darcy's first year at Grand Prix level and he has performed way beyond our expectations. I'm really looking forward to riding him at these Championships alongside this very exciting team.”
Spencer Wilton: “I was in a slightly different position this year compared with last, in that I’ve had a really strong season so I wasn’t feeling the pressure as much as I was when waiting for the phone call for the Olympic Games. But still hearing the words is a massive relief and it’s a huge honour. I definitely learnt a lot about myself and Neville [Super Nova II] in Rio and I gained a lot of confidence from seeing him cope with the bigger situation better than he had done in the past. He’s come back bigger and stronger this season as we’ve had a number of personal bests and I can’t wait to take him to the Championships.”
Article Source: British Dressage News
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