Britain’s Olympic Gold Medal Team Selected for European Championships

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Great Britain as the victorious team in the ultimate Nations Cup, the Olympics. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Great Britain’s Carl Hester, Laura Tomlinson and Charlotte Dujardin as the victorious team in the ultimate Nations Cup, the Olympic Games. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Great Britain’s Olympic gold medal team of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, Carl Hester and Uthopia and Laura Tomlinson and Mistral Hojris has been selected for the European Championships in Herning, Denmark Aug. 21-25, the same top three combinations that won gold at the last Europeans in 2011.

British Dressage announced Thursday selection of the team that also includes Michael Eilberg on Half Moon Delphi on his first senior championship team following a successful Hartpury Festival of Dressage CDI3* last weekend.

The British team will be a focus of the ecco FEI championships–Charlotte and Valegro are the No. ranked horse and rider partnership in the world, and the event is planned as a farewell performance for Laura Tomlinson (she was Bechtolsheimer at the Olympics) and the 18-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding after a career that saw the pair lead Britain to the medals podium at the 2009 Europeans in Windsor, England and the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 and were on the gold medal teams at the 2011 Europeans in Rotterdam and the Olympics as well as winning individual bronze in London.

Gareth Hughes and DV Stenkjers Nadonna is nominated as a direct reserve for Michael Eilberg and Laura Tomlinson while Uthopia has been nominated as a reserve for Charlotte, and Fine Time 13 and Dances with Wolves as reserves for Carl.

Will Connell, Equestrian Performance Director said; “Mouth watering! What else can I say about the prospect of the Dressage Team competition in Herning? This will be the Great Campaigner’s (Mistral Hojris) last Championship and I know that the Team are going to be focused on giving the British public another opportunity to shout and cheer for the dancing ponies. It is not going to be easy, Germany are on the ascendancy, Denmark will have home advantage and Sweden and the Netherlands also have some serious firepower.”

All riders contest the Grand Prix, with the best three scores counting toward the team result. The top 30 placed individuals from the Grand Prix move on to the Grand Prix Special and the 15 best placed individuals from this round, but only three riders from any one nation, compete in the Grand Prix Freestyle.

In addition to the team medals, riders compete for two individual medals–in the Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle.