The British Eventing Senior selectors have today announced their squad for the 2013 FEI Senior European Eventing Championships, which takes place in Malmö, Sweden (28 August - 1 September).
The selected squad comprises:
Kristina Cook with Mr and Mrs Nicholas Embiricos and Mrs Sarah Pelham’s Miners Frolic
William Fox-Pitt with Mr and Mrs Jeremy Skinner’s Lionheart
Piggy French with Mr Michael Underwood’s Tinkas Time
Tom McEwen with his own Diesel
Izzy Taylor with Mr Guy Avis’s KBIS Briarlands Matilda
Lucy Wiegersma with Mr and Mrs Christopher Perkins’s Simon Porloe
Yogi Breisner, World Class Eventing Performance Manager, commented on the selection; “It is a very exciting squad that has been selected for this year's European Championships. It is great to have Piggy and Lucy back on the squad, and it is exciting to have two such capable riders as Tom and Izzy making their debut. With Tina and William also on the squad there is a wonderful balance between youth and experience. I would like to thank the owners for their tremendous support and for making their horses available to British riders; and to UK Sport and the World Class Programme that enables us to support these talented riders.”
Performance Director, Will Connell commented; “Within Equestrian Team GBR we are reliant on the support of our generous owners; I hope that the results so far this year (especially in the CICOs) and this announcement prove a tonic for all eventing owners, as it demonstrates that not only are our British multi medallists still hungry for success and still able to hold their own but we have a plethora of young, talented British riders that are ready to step up to the Senior British team and help Team GBR bring home the medals. We have the riders, Lottery funding gives us the ability to support them and maximise their potential; with the support of our owners I am certain that Team GBR Eventing can deliver now and in the future. These are exciting times for sport in Great Britain!!”
Commenting on their selection;
Tina Cook: “I always find it such a wonderful privilege to be representing my country so of course I am thrilled to be selected again on Miners Frolic. He is getting older now so every competition and selection is a fantastic bonus.”
William Fox-Pitt:It is fantastic to be heading out to Sweden as part of a strong looking team which is a good combination of experience and young talent. I am thrilled to have been selected on Lionheart - it is very exciting for his owners Jeremy and Judith Skinner who have been long standing supporters of mine.
“I have been very fortunate to have received lottery funding which has enabled me to continue to compete at the top International events. This year the additional support has allowed me to take horses to Luhmühlen and Kentucky. It is a huge benefit to be able to compete internationally and gives me plenty of options for my top horses as well as helping to bring the younger horses up through the ranks.”
Piggy French: “This is such exciting news especially after the disappointment of last year; I am thrilled not just for myself but also for my amazingly supportive owners and team. It is really exciting to have some new blood on the team which makes this year’s selection all the more exciting. Tinkas Time is a really cool little horse – having him as part of my team has been a fantastic boost.”
Tom McEwen: “As you can imagine I am delighted to have been selected for the Senior squad especially as it is my first year out of Young Riders. It has been a great year with my two horses already so to be selected is incredible. I am so pleased that I was chosen on Diesel; we have had him since he was five when we broke him in so I am really proud to be representing my country on a horse we’ve produced all the way.”
Izzy Taylor: “I am thrilled, it is a real honour and it is so exciting for her owner Guy Avis as well as Guy and Liz Prest from KBIS; all three of them have been such a huge support to me over the years so it is wonderful to be selected and that all the hard work and effort has paid off! The mare is a really level headed, straight forward horse with no quirks, so fingers crossed there should be no reason for us not to pull out a good performance for the team.”
Lucy Wiegersma: “I am delighted to be selected on such a strong team and am equally thrilled for my horse’s owners who have been through so much with him. Simon is really fab, he went really well at Malmö two years ago so I know he is well-suited to the course; I am really excited about going out there to do the best we can.”
All riders compete as individuals at the Championships, with four riders selected on event to compete as the team in the team competition (the results of the two riders competing solely as individuals will not have any weighting on the overall team score).
All six riders are members of the World Class Programme, which is generously supported by Lottery and Exchequer funding via UK Sport. The Programme incorporates both the Development and Performance Programmes and the Equine Pathway, and works closely with the three British Equestrian Federation Olympic Member Bodies, British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping.