World Equestrian Games: Charlotte Dujardin bidding for title hat-trick
Last Updated: 23/07/14 5:52pm
Reigning Olympic dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin will lead Great Britain's challenge at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy next month.
Dujardin and her horse Valegro are the headline act in a four-strong team for Caen that has been announced by the British Equestrian Federation.
Dujardin and Valegro will be joined by London 2012 team gold medal-winning colleague Carl Hester, riding Nip Tuck, Michael Eilberg and Half Moon Delphi, together with Gareth Hughes and DV Stenkjers Madonna.
Gold medals will be at stake in the team competition, plus individual grand prix special and freestyle events. If Britain finish among the top three teams, then qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics will be secured.
Gloucestershire-based Dujardin, 29, is also the current European individual champion, so she will be bidding for a title hat-trick in France after securing Olympic team and individual gold at Greenwich Park two years ago .
She continued her preparations at the prestigious Aachen Show in Germany last week, where she won the freestyle following a disappointing sixth place finish in the grand prix.
Both the Aachen grand prix and grand prix special classes were won by Dutch stallion Totilas and German rider Matthias Rath, a combination that looks set to provide Dujardin's biggest World Games threat.
"To be taking part in my first World Equestrian Games is really exciting," she said. "I am really looking forward to it.
"Representing my country is always a great honour, and I hope we can give our fans and supporters the results to make them proud."
Great Britain dressage chef d'equipe Richard Waygood added: "We set our goal after London to qualify at the World Equestrian Games for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and to do this we need to be in the top three nations.
"Achieving qualification this summer will allow us to campaign next year with as much flexibility as possible without having to worry about qualifying. It's going to be a very exciting championship".
The dressage competition takes place from August 25-29.