Team GB Show Jumping Announced for London 2012

      Ben Maher and Tripple X                                                       Photo: lewishardingimages.com

 

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

The athletes selected to Team GB today are:

  • Scott Brash (26) from Peebles, Scotland riding Hello Sanctos owned by Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham
  • Peter Charles (52) from Alton, Hampshire riding [Murka’s] Vindicat W owned by Olga White, Tara Charles & Team Murka
  • Ben Maher (29) from Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire riding Tripple X III owned by The Quainton Stud and rider
  • Nick Skelton OBE (54) from Alcester, Warwickshire riding Big Star owned by Mrs Beverley Widdowson

Also named today is the Team GB travelling reserve:

  • Tina Fletcher (47) from Farringdon, Oxfordshire riding Hello Sailor owned by Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham

The jumping team announced today to compete for Team GB in London has a total of nine Olympic Games to their name; British team stalwart, Nick Skelton will be representing Great Britain at his sixth Olympic Games (and in addition took part in the Alternative Games of 1980). His 2008 team mate Ben Maher will be attending his second Games; both riders were part of the bronze medal winning team at last year’s European Championships where Skelton also claimed individual bronze. Both head into the summer with the confidence of Grand Prix competition form firmly on their side.

Although Scott Brash will make his Olympic debut in Greenwich the Scottish number one is no stranger to team call ups as a regular competitor for GB on Nations Cups squads since 2010. With new ride Hello Sanctos he bagged his biggest Grand Prix win to date at the start of 2012 in Florida and has continued to impress.

Peter Charles completes the team line up and will also head to London as an Olympic debutant for Great Britain but with the experience of having previously competed for Ireland on his past two Olympic appearances in 1992 and 1996. The Liverpudlian won individual gold at the European Championships in 1995 and has an impressive track record to his name including three consecutive Hickstead Derby wins.

Waiting in the wings is Tina Fletcher with her long-term partner Hello Sailor, with whom she boasts a wealth of experience on the international circuit. The combination would make their Championship and Olympic debut for Great Britain if called upon this summer.

The addition of the jumping athletes brings the total number of athletes officially selected to compete for Team GB at London 2012 to 397 across 31 sport disciplines: archery, athletics – marathon, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoe slalom, canoe sprint, cycling, diving, equestrian – eventing, equestrian – dressage, equestrian – jumping, fencing, handball, hockey, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, synchronised swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball – beach, volleyball – indoor, weightlifting and wrestling.

Team GB Chef de Mission, Andy Hunt commented:

“The selection of the jumping riders and their horses completes our equestrian line-up for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The athletes selected today have a good mix of experience and strong form leading up to the Games and with the support of the home crowd behind them at Greenwich Park I have every confidence they will deliver inspirational performances.

“Earning selection to compete at your seventh Olympic Games is a very special achievement and is a tribute to Nick Skelton’s quality, determination and consistency. I am sure the other riders and athletes across Team GB will learn a lot from Nick’s wealth of experience.”

Ben Maher commented:

It’s amazing; it’s just a dream to be in the Olympics, the news hasn’t really sunk in. Making the team is one thing but the hard work really starts now, there’s a lot of pressure to live up to, hopefully we can pull everything together at the right time. I love competing on home soil, it’s lucky for me and it will be great that so many people who’ve helped me get where I am will be able to relate to that.

“Hugo [Tripple X III] is homebred which makes this extra special, the horse has only ever had me on his back in competition so by now we know we trust each other. Mike and Emma Phillips who I part own him with have been amazing. From our very first conversation they said it would be a dream to have a horse at the Olympics. I couldn’t do it without them and it’s great to tick this box for them now. It’s such a massive honour.”

      Nick Skelton and Big Star                                          Photo: GCT/Sportfot

 

Nick Skelton commented:

“Seventh time lucky hopefully; I’m really pleased to be selected. The horses are going well at the moment and I hope we’ve got a good chance although you never know what will happen on the day. Henry [Big Star] is a placid, easy going horse and doesn’t seem to mind the big occasions so I wouldn’t think Greenwich will faze him too much.

“I’ve just got to thank Gary and Beverley Widdowson, the horse’s owners who’ve stuck by me even through I’m getting on a bit in years. Having a horse at the Olympics has always been their aim. They’ve refused a lot of money and not many would have resisted the temptation to sell so I’m very lucky to have their support.”

 

Comments

Best of luck to all the competitors whatever nation they represent, a safe games to all x x