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12/06/2012 - London 2012
The British Equestrian Federation selected the following riders and horses to represent Equetrian Team GBR in Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing at the London 2012 Games.
The nominated athletes, nine of whom are former Members of The Pony Club, are:
Laura Bechtolsheimer (27) from Ampney St Peter, Gloucestershire riding Mistral Hojris
Charlotte Dujardin (25) from Newent, Gloucestershire riding Valegro
Carl Hester (44) from Newent, Gloucestershire riding Uthopia
Selected to Team GB to contest the individual competition is:
Richard Davison (57) from Combridge, Staffordshire riding Artemis
All of the riders have experience of winning medals at international competition level, and the progress the dressage team have made recently has been impressive, with the highlight being an historic gold medal at the 2011 European Championships
Kristina Cook - (41) from Worthing, West Sussex riding Miners Frolic
William Fox-Pitt (43) from Sturminster Newton, Dorset riding Lionheart
Nicola Wilson from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, riding Opposition Buzz
Mary King (51) from Sidmouth, Devon riding Imperial Cavalier
Zara Phillips (31) from Stroud, Gloucestershire riding High Kingdom
Unfortunately DHI Topper W, ridden by Piggy French, incurred an injury which meant he was not fit to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the equestrian (eventing) competitions.
The British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed that Nicola Wilson (35) from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, riding Opposition Buzz owned by Mrs Rosemary Search replaced Piggy and DHI Topper W.
Between the five selected riders the eventing team contains a wealth of experience; this will be Mary King’s sixth Olympic Games; William Fox-Pitt’s fourth and Kristina Cook’s second. Although Zara Phillips and Georgina French will make their Olympic debuts in London 2012, they are also no strangers to championship call ups for their country.
Kristina Cook, William Fox-Pitt and Mary King were all members of the GB eventing squad that won team bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where Kristina also scooped the individual bronze on Miner’s Frolic. The same trio were then part of the team that won gold at the 2010 World Championships, where William Fox-Pitt took an individual silver medal.
Zara was crowned individual World Champion in 2006 but missed out on her Olympic dream in 2008 when her horse Toytown suffered an injury prior to competition. She is now back at the top of the sport with High Kingdom, a horse that she has brought up the ranks from novice level.
Scott Brash (26) from Peebles, Scotland riding Hello Sanctos
Peter Charles (52) from Alton, Hampshire riding [Murka’s] Vindicat W
Ben Maher (29) from Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire riding Tripple X III
Nick Skelton OBE (54) from Alcester, Warwickshire riding Big Star
Tina Fletcher (47) from Farringdon, Oxfordshire riding Hello Sailor
The jumping team announced today to compete for Team GB in London has a total of nine Olympic Games to their name; British team stalwart, Nick Skelton will be representing Great Britain at his sixth Olympic Games (and in addition took part in the Alternative Games of 1980). His 2008 team mate Ben Maher will be attending his second Games; both riders were part of the bronze medal winning team at last year’s European Championships where Skelton also claimed individual bronze. Both head into the summer with the confidence of Grand Prix competition form firmly on their side.
Although Scott Brash will make his Olympic debut in Greenwich the Scottish number one is no stranger to team selections as a regular competitor for GB on Nations Cups squads since 2010. With new ride Hello Sanctos he bagged his biggest Grand Prix win to date at the start of 2012 in Florida and has continued to impress.
Peter Charles completes the team line up and will also head to London as an Olympic debutant for Great Britain but with the experience of having previously competed for Ireland on his past two Olympic appearances in 1992 and 1996. The Liverpudlian won individual gold at the European Championships in 1995 and has an impressive track record to his name including three consecutive Hickstead Derby wins.
Mhairi Spence, a former Member of the Moray & Nairn Branch of The Pony Club, has been selected as a part of a four strong team at the Olympics for Modern Pentathlon.
GB’s female modern pentathletes have an outstanding track record at the Olympic Games, having won four medals since the women’s event was added to the Olympic Programme at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. In 2000 Stephanie Cooke, a former Member of the Oakley Hunt West Branch of The Pony Club, won Britain’s first modern pentathlon gold while Kate Allenby, a former Member of the Spooners & West Dartmoor Branch, claimed bronze. Following this, Georgina Harland, a former Member of the East Kent Hunt Branch, finished third in Athens and Heather Fell, also formerly of the Spooners & West Dartmoor Branch won silver in Beijing.
Mhairi was a part of the Scottish team that won the silver teams medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Championships. She has since made the podium at World Cup events and just last month became World Champion for the first time. Mhairi has been selected for Team GB to compete in Modern Pentathlon alongside Samantha Murray, Nick Woodbridge and Sam Weale.