Skelton to lead Britain at Nations Cup

11 April 2012 / 18:42

Great Britain will parade a powerful line-up in the opening round of this year's FEI Nations Cup.

Nick Skelton, individual bronze medallist at the European Showjumping Championships in Madrid last September, will spearhead Britain's challenge for success at La Baule, France on May 11.

Warwickshire-based Skelton, currently ranked among the world's top 10 riders and a serious London Olympics medal contender, will ride the highly-rated Big Star.

Ben Maher, Rolex World Cup winner at London Olympia last December, has gained selection aboard the 10-year-old black stallion Tripple X III, while Peter Charles (Murka's Vindicat W) and Scott Brash (Intertoy Z) also feature.

Skelton, Maher and Brash have recently returned from competing on the Florida winter circuit, where they all enjoyed success, but notably Skelton, who won more money there than any other rider.

And Hampshire-based Charles, a mainstay of British Nations Cup teams under world class performance manager Rob Hoekstra's guidance, has started his season with successes in Spain and Italy.

The Nations Cup comprises eight events across Europe, with Britain hoping to build on an impressive third place overall last year.

Seven of the eight competitions take place before London, including the British leg at Hickstead on July 21, with other events scheduled in Rome, St Gallen, Rotterdam, Aachen, Falsterbo and Dublin.

Countries contesting this year's Nations Cup will be Britain, Germany, Holland, Ireland, France, Belgium, plus two countries - Switzerland and Sweden - moving up from the second-tier Promotional League.