World number one Showjumper Scott Brash not included in British squad for Aachen



Great Britain’s showjumpers will face a make-or-break Olympic qualification bid in Germany without world number one Scott Brash.

The 29-year-old Scotsman has not been included in a four-strong team announced by the British Equestrian Federation for the FEI European Championships that start next week.

Team GB's Showjumpers, despite winning team gold at London 2012, have yet to qualify for Rio next year, and the Europeans represent their final chance. Three remaining places are up for grabs, but Britain can expect strong competition from countries like Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain.

Brash was a member of the successful London Olympics quartet alongside Ben Maher, Nick Skelton and Peter Charles, but neither of his top horses – Hello Sanctos and Hello M’Lady – are heading to Aachen, where Britain will defend the European team crown they won two years ago in Denmark.

Sussex-based Brash is aiming Sanctos for Calgary next month, when he will bid to become the first winner of showjumping’s £700,000 Rolex Grand Slam, which is awarded to any rider who wins successive grands prix at Geneva, Aachen and Spruce Meadows.

And Hello M’Lady, ridden by Brash at last Friday’s Nations Cup event in Dublin, is not available to contest the Europeans, Press Association Sport understands.

Brash’s absence is a major blow to team boss Di Lampard, who has made an impressive start to her reign this year by overseeing Nations Cup victories in La Baule, Rome and Rotterdam. The BEF has so far made no official comment regarding Brash.

Apart from landing gold in London, Brash has been crowned overall Global Champions Tour series winner for the last two years, and he was a 2013 European team gold medal winner and an individual bronze medallist. His career prize money runs into millions.

The team for Germany comprises Maher with Diva II, 19-year Jessica Mendoza and Spirit T, Joe Clee with Utamaro d’Ecaussines and Michael Whitaker, riding Cassionato. Guy Williams is the traveling reserve on Titus II, with Robert Whitaker (Catwalk IV) and William Whitaker (Fandango) named as non-travelling reserves.

Lampard said: “We are all entirely focused 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 which was won at London 2012.

“We move forward to Aachen as a strong united team, and we are looking forward to the championships and all it brings.”




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