Triple Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin heads Team GB’s initial equestrian squad for Tokyo 2020.
The 35-year-old will compete in the dressage events at her third Games, having picked up two golds at London 2012 and one at Rio 2016, together with a silver in Brazil. But in Japan, she will be on board a new horse, following the retirement of her trusty companion Valegro.
After a fairly slow start, Dujardin has been making encouraging progress with Mount St John Freestyle, and will be optimistic to build on her medal tally in Tokyo, as she looks to compete with Laura Kenny for the title of Britain’s most successful female Olympian.
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She heads a squad of six rider and horse combinations, four of which will be making their Olympic debuts, although the jumping trio are still to be selected. But at the age of 54, Carl Hester will appear at a fifth Games, looking to add to the gold he won at London 2012 - having made his debut at Barcelona 1992.
25-year-old Charlotte Fry, who is a former gold medallist at the World Championships for Young Dressage Riders in 2018, completes the first choice dressage line-up.
The eventing disciplines are devoid of Olympic experience but are led by the current world number one Oliver Townend, with Tom McEwen fifth in the rankings. Laura Collett is also picked, with Piggy March going as a reserve - despite being third in the world.
“Selection and preparation has been difficult ahead of Tokyo however we continue to remain resilient and focused to overcome the challenges of this year’s Games,” said British Equestrian Performance Director and Equestrian Team Leader for Tokyo, Richard Waygood.
Both teams are a great mix of youth and experience and each one of the combinations travelling to Tokyo has the potential to finish on the podium.
“Our human and equine sports science teams, working with the riders’ home teams, have left nothing to chance to ensure the athletes, both equine and human, are ready to fulfil that potential.”
Team GB Equestrian Team:
Dressage (24 – 28 July)
Charlotte Dujardin with Renai Hart, Carl Hester and her own Gio
Charlotte Fry with Van Olst Horses and her own Everdale
Carl Hester with Sandra Biddlecombe, Charlotte Dujardin, Lady Anne Evans and his own En Vogue
Gareth Hughes with Judy Firmston-Williams and his own Sintano Van Hof Olympia
Eventing (30 July – 2 August)
Laura Collett with Karen Bartlett, Keith Scott and her own London 52
Tom McEwen with Fred and Penny Barker, Jane Inns and Ali McEwen’s Toledo de Kerser
Oliver Townend with Karyn Schuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan’s Ballaghmor Class
Piggy March with John and Chloe Perry and Alison Swinburn’s Brookfield Inocent
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