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Nicola Wilson held in reserve as GB eventing team is announced
3:04pm Wednesday 27th June 2012 in Equestrian
THOSE who considered Northallerton-based rider Nicola Wilson as a likely candidate to form part of the British eventing team for the London Olympics were to be disappointed when selectors announced their five nominated riders.
Bramham International Horse Trials was the final selection trial for the Olympic team after Badminton and Chatsworth Horse Trials became casualties of the weather.
Wilson, who has been part of the British eventing team for the past three years riding the well-known Opposition Buzz, is first reserve for the Olympic team which will combine the talents and experience of veteran rider Mary King, 51, on board Imperial Cavalier in her sixth Olympic Games, alongside William Fox-Pitt, 43, and Kristina Cook, 41.
All three formed part of the bronze medal-winning team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, where Kristina Cook also took individual bronze with her ride, Miners Frolic.
The trio formed part of the gold medal-winning team at the 2010 World Championships, where Fox- Pitt clinched individual silver.
Speaking of his Olympic team selection William Fox-Pitt said: “It’s very exciting to be part of such a strong team. Lionheart is a phenomenal horse and an incredible athlete with a great temperament and he’ll be able to cope with Greenwich perfectly.
“I’m really looking forward to riding there; he’s only a 10-year-old but a very generous and talented horse.
In my opinio,n he’s made for Greenwich.”
Zara Phillips and Georgina French – known as Piggy – will be making their Olympic debuts in London 2012 but are no strangers to representing their country.
Zara, 31, was crowned individual World Champion in 2006 but her Olympic hopes were dashed in 2008 when her horse, Toytown, was injured prior to the competition.
She has made a return to top-level competition riding High Kingdom a horse that she has brought through the ranks from novice level.
The combination impressed selectors when finishing third at Bramham with double clear jumping rounds and a personal best dressage score of 43.2.
Georgina French, 31, won individual silver at the 2009 European Championships and was also part of the 2011 European Championship team that won bronze alongside Fox- Pitt and King. Her ride for the Olympics will be DHI Topper W.
The four dressage riders who will compete for Team GB at the London Olympics have also been confirmed.
They are: Laura Bechtolsheimer, 27, riding Mistral Hojris, Charlotte Dujardin, 25, riding Valegro, Carl Hester, 44, riding Uthopia and Richard Davison, 57, riding Artemis.