British Olympic Eventing Team For Tokyo 2020

(L-R) Oliver Townend, Piggy March, Laura Collett and Tom McEwen - Great Britain selected Equestrian Eventing athletes - Tokyo2020

The British Olympic Eventing Team for Tokyo 2020 are gearing up for the Games. The eventing team are predicted to achieve top results in this year’s games. Tokyo 2020 will also be the Olympics where the entire squad make their debut Olympic appearances.

British Olympic Eventing Team For Tokyo 2020

Laura Collett and London 52

Laura Collett of Great Britain riding London 52 holds the individual top spot after day one of Dressage at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships 2019 Luhmühlen (GER). (FEI/Oliver Hardt for Getty images)
LUHMUHLEN, GERMANY – AUGUST 29: Laura Collett of Great Britain riding London 52 competes during Day 2 of the Dressage at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships 2019 on August 29, 2019 in Luhmuhlen, Germany. (Photo by Oliver Hardt/Getty Images for FEI)

Laura Collett

Laura Collett is the only female on the British Olympic Eventing Team for Tokyo 2020.

Based in Salperton, Gloustershire, Laura (31) produces and competes to 5* international level eventing.

Starting her career in showing, she switched to the eventing discipline as a teenager. Selected for the Pony European Championships in 2005, she led team GB to victory and individually place in bronze medal position. Claiming quick success, here is where she began her professional eventing career.

Selected for Young Rider squads and the Podium Potential World Class Development Programme funded by UK Sport, Laura’s success in the eventing realm continued. Attending her first ever Badminton Horse Trails in 2011, she placed within the top ten, further proving her talents.

However, Laura journey has not come without pitfalls. In 2013, a bad fall left the eventer hospitalised, in a coma, and with multiple fractures. The rider bounced back in style though. In the same year, she finished the eventing season as part of the winning Nations Cup series. Then three years later and multiple success later, she narrowly missed out on a place in the Rio 2016 squad.

Laura, currently ranked 22nd in the FEI Eventing World Athlete rankings has finally been given her shot at an Olympic medal this year at Tokyo with ride, London 52.

London 52

London 52, known as ‘Dan’, is an 11-year-old, 16.3 hh, Holensteiner gelding.

Laura found her Olympic-star-to-be in Germany, where he had previously showjumper. Purchasing ‘Dan’ in 2016 together with Karen Bartlett and Keith Scott, she progressed the then 7-year-old into the realm of eventing.

‘Dan’ proved a natural at eventing, placing 2nd in her first ever British Eventing competition. From here, the partnership progressed, with their first major win in 2018 at the Blenheim Palace CIC3* 8/9yo class.

Year after year, ‘Dan’ and Laura have been consistently placing first at international-based 4* and 5* events. The past 12 months has been no exception.

In the autumn of 2020, the partnership placed 1st at CCI-S 4* at Little Downham. Less than a month later, they also scored 1st at Pau’s CCI-L 5*.

Success for the pair has continued into 2021, placing 1st and 4th at CCI-S 4* level at Aston-Le-Walls and Bicton, respectively.

Strong in dressage, scoring nothing above 24.0, and adding no extra time in the cross-country phase this year, the partnership are going in with a strong record for the Games. A double clear rate of 83.3%, this season means Laura and London 52 are ones to watch.

Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser

Tom McEwan Eventing Dressage – FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 – Tryon, North Carolina, USA – 14 September 2018. Copyright
Jon Stroud Media

Tom McEwen

Tom McEwen, the FEI World ranking 5th eventer also makes his Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

Based on the Princess Royal’s Gatcombe estate in Stroud, Gloucestershire, Tom has a range of horses from youngster to elite level. He also plays a hand in keeping some of the world’s top event horses in action whilst their rider’s take time off.

Following in the footsteps of equestrian parents, Tom was born with riding in his blood. Working his way up the levels from a young age, his first notable success came in 2007 where he formed part of the gold medal winning Pony Team. Success quickly followed success, winning European Team Gold from the 2010 Young Rider European Championships.

In 2011, Tom joined the Podium Potential World Class Development programme, funded by UK Sport. A programme designed to identify and develop riders who have shown the potential to reach the world stage, the elite ride has now stepped onto the 5* stage with several horses.

Along the way, Tom has had two wins in the Under 25 CCI 4 star at Bramham, was selected for the European Championships in Malmo, and longlisted for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

After claiming 4th position at Burghley in 2017 on Toledo de Kerser, Tom was also selected for the Team GB World Equestrian Games Team in Tryon on 2018.

Toledo de Kerser

Toledo de Kerser, known as ‘Toledo’, is a 14-year-old, 16.1hh, bay gelding.

French-bred and hugely talented, Toledo was produced by Australian Olympic eventer, Sammi McLeod, as a five-year-old.

Toledo’s career with Tom really kicked off in 2014, placing 2nd in Tattersalls CCI2* and 2nd at the Le Lion Young Horse Championships.

Since, Toledo and Tom scored the Braham U25 CCI3* title at Braham in 2016, were longlisted for the Rio Olympics, and claimed Team Gold at the World Equestrian Games in Tyron 2018.

Pau CCI-L 5* champions in 2019 and placing 5th in the same competition just one year later, the partnership have been on top form. More recently, they proved this with result at CC1-S 4* level, taking home a 1st and a 3rd from competition earlier this year.

Behind the scenes work has translated well for the pair, Toledo displaying an ever improving performance in the dressage field. Once an area of weakness, work with Tom has seen Toledo work from consistently scoring in the 30’’s to now averaging on a dressage score of 24.1.

Cross country and showjumping phases have always been Toledo’s strongest area, hardly ever adding time or penalties to his dressage score.

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class

Oliver Townend

World FEI Ranking No.1 eventer is the final rider to make up to Tokyo 2020 squad.

Originally hailing from Yorkshire, Oliver inheritied his love of horse from his eventing father and showing mother. The elite eventer is now based in Ellsemere, Shropshire where he produced and competes horses up to 5* level.

Beginning his riding journey at just 7-years-old, by the time he was 11, Oliver was already performing on the prestigious Horse of The Year Show stage. The, at 13 he represented Great Britain on the Pony eventing team at the European Championships, quickly moving through the ranks.

For three years he was stable jockey to the late British Event Team show jumping trainer, Kenneth Clawson, in Leicestershire. Then, in 2005 the Oliver was provided with his first opportunity to compete at Badminton. Making the most out of the chance, he placed 12th and earned himself a place at the European Championships at Blenheim Palace the very same year. Oliver finally topped the badminton leader board just 4 years later with Flint Curtis.

Since, Oliver has gone on to win four European team medals and two individual European gold medals.

However, the British eventer is probably most well-known for his Kentucky hat-trick. Oliver claimed back-to-back victories in 2018 and 2019 on Cooley Master Class. The after a 2020 cancellation of the Kentucky three-day event, he secured a win in 2021 on Ballaghmor Class.

Ballaghmor Class

Ballaghmor Class, otherwise known as ‘Thomas’, is a 14-year-old, 16.2hh., gelding.

Working with Oliver since 2013, Thomas has managed to excel from BE100 to 5* level in just 4 years.

Thomas began on the international stage at Tattersalls CCI1*, gradually working his way up to where he is today.

The Irish Sport Horse won Burghley Horse Trials in 2017 during his 5* debut, at just 10-years-old. He has remained in the top three ranking at Burghley each year since and even made his way onto the Eventing Riders Association (ERA) International Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Hall of Fame.

2019 was by far Ballagmor Class’ best year. A first at Burnham Market 4*, a second a Badminton 5* and Burgham 4*, and a 3rd at Burgley 5*, the grey was only just warming up.

In 2021, the talented event horse completed Oliver Townend’s Kentucky hat-trick, taking the 5* title at the three-day event.

Ros Canter and Allstar B [Travelling Reserve]

Ros Canter Allstar B. Image credit: Rupert Gibson Photography
Ros Canter Allstar B. Image credit: Rupert Gibson Photography

Ros Canter

Travelling reserve for the Tokyo 2020 eventing squad is current eventing world champion, Ros Canter.

Studying sport science at Sheffield Hallam University, Ros then went on to spend four years working for Judy Bradwell. After the 2011 season, the rider set up on her own, producing and competing event horses at elite level. Based in Hallington, Lincolnshire, Ros’ yard is at the family farm where she grew up.

In 2015, Ros moved up to five-star level with Allstar B at Burghley Horse Trials. She then headed straight to Badminton Horse Trials  and Burghley in 2016, where she withdrew and finished down the order, respectively. Turning to Chris Bartle for advice, she honed in on her cross country style, making for more than favourable results.

She now explains that her riding style is with a longer rein, letting their horse do their job.

In 2017, Ros was fifth and best of the Brits at Badminton. However, her best five-star placings so far are third at Badminton 2018 and third at Luhmühlen Horse Trials in 2018.

Allstar B

Allstar B, a.k.a. Alby is a 16-year-old, 17hh, bay gelding.

The 17hh horse has enjoyed repeated success at 3 and 4* level over the last few years. Partnered with Ros, All Star B is also the current Eventing World Champion after winning Gold at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. Finishing on their dressage score, the pair helped team GBR claim Team Gold at the Champs making Ros and Alby double gold medalists.

This season, Allstar B has not placed outside of the top 20, thriving at higher level competition. Allstar B’s best result of the season was 3rd at Bicton with a score of 24.6.

Dressage is this horse’s strong point, consistently scoring in the 20’s and even throwing out scores as low as 17.5, more recently. Although a carful show jumper, the pair do have a tendency to run over time in cross country rounds.

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