The Longines FEI European Eventing Championships begin at Blair Castle (GBR) this weekend, with three Connolly’s RED MILLS Ambassadors forming part of the Irish squad for the event.
Riders from 15 nations will line-out and in addition to the team and individual medal competition, a number of nations will be seeking qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. However, Ireland have already qualified a team for Rio based on the team result at the World Equestrian Games last year.
There were plenty of lively horses at the first horse inspection at the spectacular venue in the Scottish Highlands yesterday (Wednesday) where all horses passed except one, Igor Atrokhov’s Russian team horse Indigo Pyreneen.
A total of 66 combinations will go forward to the dressage phase which starts at 10.00am today (Thursday). The Netherlands, reigning world bronze medallists, have been drawn first to go of the 11 teams, with Ireland drawn second to go, fielding Joseph Murphy (Sportsfield Othello) as pathfinder, followed by Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland, reigning champions Germany, Russia, France, Sweden, Spain and Belgium.
William Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell, Ingrid Klimke and recent Burghley winner Michael Jung, are just some of the big names who will take part over the coming four days of action, with dressage taking place today and tomorrow, before cross-country on Saturday.
The new European team and individual champion will be crowned following the final show jumping phase on Sunday.