Talented Eventing squad named to defend European title

The British Eventing Senior Selectors have today confirmed the combinations that will compete at the 2019 Boekelo Horse Trials (NED), 10 – 13 October. Piggy French at Burgham in 2018. Image credit Rupert Gibson Photography.
  • Squad includes 2 WEG gold-medallists and 2 members of the gold medal-winning 2017 Europeans team

The British Equestrian Federation has today, 2 August 2019, announced the UK Sport National Lottery funded eventing squad which will compete at the FEI Longines Eventing European Championships in Luhmühlen (28 August – 1 September 2019).

Two of the riders who helped to propel Team GBR to team gold at the World Equestrian Games in 2018, Piggy French and Tom McEwen, will return for the European Championships in Luhmühlen. They’ll be joined by Oliver Townend and Tina Cook, both part of the gold medal-winning team at the previous European Championships in 2017, while Laura Collett and Kitty King round out the squad after a season of strong results.

In alphabetical order, the selected squad has been named by British Eventing selectors as:

  • Laura Collett with Karen Bartlett, Keith Scott and her own London 52 (Groom – Zanie King)
  • Kristina (Tina) Cook with Elisabeth Murdoch’s Billy The Red (Groom – Rachel Tolley)
  • Piggy French with Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo (Groom – Amy Phillips)
  • Kitty King with Diana Bown, Sally Eyre, Samantha Wilson and Sally Lloyd-Baker’s Vendredi Biats (Groom – Chloe Fry)
  • Tom McEwen with Fred and Penny Barker, Jane Inns and Alison McEwen’s Toledo de Kerser (Groom – Lucy Seddon)
  • Oliver Townend with Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class (Grooms – Suzanne Cooper and Charlotte Hollyfield)

Piggy French and Oliver Townend have also each been selected with a direct reserve horse, Piggy with Trevor Dickens’ Vanir Kamira and Oliver with Karyn Shuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan’s Ballaghmor Class.

Four immediate reserves have also been selected. In alphabetical order by rider surname, they are:

  • Alex Bragg with Philip and Sally Ellicott’s Zagreb
  • Sarah Bullimore with Christopher and Susan Gillespie and Brett Bullimore’s Reve de Rouet
  • Pippa Funnell with Marek Sebastak and her own Majas Hope
  • Tom McEwen with Barbara Cooper’s Figaro van het Broekxhof

Performance Manager Dickie Waygood said

I am very excited about the squad selection, which includes four senior gold medallists from recent championships. It allows Team GBR to be competitive while still investing in the future, with several horses receiving their first team call-up. While Tokyo 2020 qualification is already secured, this European Championships is an important part of our Olympic preparations, so I’d like to thank all the riders and their owners for making their horses available for selection.”

British Eventing Chief Executive Jude Matthews commented;

We were extremely lucky to have so many great combinations on the nominated entries list for selection for these Europeans, and I must thank all our loyal owners for making their horses available for selection. Whilst it is inevitably a disappointment for those who have not made the team, I am delighted for those selected and wish them every success.”

The British senior teams are supported by the BEF’s UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme.

Featured image: Piggy French at Burgham in 2018. Image credit Rupert Gibson Photography.