Equestrian Dressage Athletes Selected to Team GB for London 2012 Olympics

Equestrian Dressage Athletes Selected to Team GB for London 2012 Olympics

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today confirmed the four dressage athletes and their horses who will compete for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The selected riders, who were nominated to the BOA for selection to Team GB by the British Equestrian Federation, will compete at Greenwich Park this summer on the 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 9th August.

The athletes selected to Team GB today to contest the team and individual competitions are:

Laura Bechtolsheimer (27) from Ampney St Peter, Gloucestershire riding Mistral Hojris, owned by Dr Wilfried & Mrs Ursula Bechtolsheimer and rider
Charlotte Dujardin (25) from Newent, Gloucestershire riding Valegro, owned by Mr Carl Hester & Mrs Roly Luard
Carl Hester (44) from Newent, Gloucestershire riding Uthopia, owned by Mr Carl Hester and Mrs Sasha Stewart

The athlete selected to Team GB to contest the individual competition is:
Richard Davison (57) from Combridge, Staffordshire riding Artemis, owned by the Countess of Derby

The dressage team selected today to compete for Team GB this summer contains a wealth of experience; London will be Carl Hester and Richard Davison’s fourth Olympic Games, and Laura Bechtolsheimer’s second after making her Olympic debut Beijing 2008. While London 2012 will be Charlotte Dujardin’s Olympic debut, she has already made a substantial mark on the international dressage world during her short career to date, with her exciting horse Valegro.

Although Great Britain has never won an Olympic dressage medal, a recent improvement in form could buck the trend this summer. The British team won silver at the World Championships in 2010, with Laura Bechtolsheimer and her Olympic mount Mistral Hojris completing a hat-trick of silver medals in the team, individual and freestyle competitions. Laura Bechtolsheimer, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester were all part of the quartet that won a historic gold medal at the 2011 European Championships, where Hester scooped two individual silver medals and Bechtolsheimer took home a bronze.

All four riders boast records to their names – Dujardin recently broke the world and British record in the Grand Prix Special test at Hagen in May, scoring 88.022%, where Bechtolsheimer also bettered her own British Grand Prix Freestyle record, scoring an impressive 87.60%. Hester now holds the British record in the Grand Prix test of 83.30%.

European medallist Richard Davison is also no stranger to success and has returned to international competition in fighting form in the last couple of years with Artemis, with whom he has scored a number of international wins and placings. The combination finished fifth in the 2012 Reem Acra FEI World Cup.