Natasha Baker (Grade II) riding Mr & Mrs P Baker’s and Mr C Landolt’s Cabral
Natasha speaks about being part of the 2011 European Championships
Natasha Baker: “Amazing, I’m not normally speechless but mum and I were in floods of tears when David [Hunter] broke the news. We’ve had a fantastic season, my coaches Sacha Hamilton and Emile Faurie have worked so hard and been really supportive and I couldn’t have done any more. It’s a wonderful opportunity; the European nations and especially the Germans and the Dutch are some of the strongest competition in my grade so it will be good to get a feel for where we are in the world too.”
British Dressage has announced their selection of the squad of five horses and riders that will represent Britain at the para-equestrian dressage European Championships in Moorsele, Belgium (1-4 September 2011).
The selected squad comprises:
- Natasha Baker (Grade II) riding Mr & Mrs P Baker’s and Mr C Landolt’s Cabral
- Sophie Christiansen (Grade Ia) riding The Berkeley Group’s, Rivaldo of Berkeley
- Deborah Criddle (Grade III) riding The Lady Joseph Trust’s, LJT Akilles
- Anne Dunham (Grade Ia) riding Mrs Sally Ann Brown’s, Teddy
- Sophie Wells (Grade IV) riding her own, Valerius
Emma Sheardown, with her own Purdy’s Dream, has been named as the non-travelling reserve for the Championship.
David Hunter, World Class Performance Manager for the para-equestrian dressage team commented; “Selection this year was extremely challenging given the strong list of candidates across the grades. The standard of riding and test scores from those in our pool of riders has been very high but when it comes down to it we only have only five spaces at the Europeans this time. We have a determined team of experienced riders with some newer horse combinations and will work hard to defend our team gold in Moorsele.”
All six riders are on the World Class Programme, which is generously supported by Lottery and Exchequer funding via UK Sport. The Programme incorporates both the Development and Performance Programmes and the Equine Pathway, and works closely with the three BEF Olympic Member Bodies, British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping.
All five riders will compete in both the individual Championship and Freestyle classes for their respective Grades), four riders will also be selected to take part in the Team competition. The Team result is calculated from the top three scores from both the Team and Championship tests; in the Freestyle class the winner is decided by the highest percentage score obtained.
All the news and behind the scenes views in the run up to and during the European Championships can be found on both British Dressage and Equestrian Team GBR’s websites visit www.britishdressage.com and www.equestrianteamgbr.co.uk for more details.
We will be posting quotes from the entire squad during the next few days – so keep visiting our site!