Endurance GB names British riders for FEI European Championships

Endurance GB has announced the British team who will compete at the FEI CH-EU-E 160km European Championships at Euston Park in Suffolk on 17th August.

The combinations were announced following a final assessment of horses at Warwick International School of Riding on Sunday 4th August – the team includes Nicola Thorne(48), from Shipdham, Norfolk, with her own LM Bolena, a 14-year-old chestnut Arab mare.

Endurance GB Senior Team Chef d’Equipe Liz Finney said: “We held a very successful Senior Team assessment day at Warwick International School of Riding to confirm our definite entries for the European Championship. Riders, horses, team management and crews worked really well together and Endurance GB is proud to announce that these five fantastic combinations will represent Great Britain.”

Endurance GB Chairman Rebecca Kinnarney said: “We would like to congratulate all the riders and wish them and their crews every success at Euston Park – the whole of Endurance GB will be rooting for them.”

Commenting on two successful team places for the Atkinsons, Rebecca added: “Endurance is truly a family sport and multi-generational participation by the whole family whether as rider, crew or trainer is common. It is not unusual to see mothers, daughters and sometimes sons taking part in rides together, often with dads crewing. However, for the Atkinson family to get two human and equine athletes qualified and on top form for a championship event such as the Europeans is an exceptional achievement.”

Nicola Thorne, a former Chair of Endurance GB, whose day job involves working with her husband’s shipping business, said: “It is such an honour to have the opportunity to represent your country in the sport that you love and to do so in partnership with my much-loved and treasured mare Bolena, as well as my fabulous crew and the rest of the team, who are all at the very highest level of the sport.  There is really nothing that can top this and I very much hope to achieve a result to make everyone who has put so much faith in us, proud of us.

“I also hope that the European Championships will be a great inspiration to other endurance riders of all ages within the UK and also to promote endurance in general.  This will be a real flag ship event, and I am very proud to have the opportunity to be a part of that.”

This is the first FEI European Endurance Championship to be held in the UK since the 1993 Championships at Southwell in Nottinghamshire, where Britain won both team and individual gold medals. The Championship is part of the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UK Endurance Festival (15th-19th August 2019). The event, which also features the Pony Club National Championships, and an FEI CEIO2* 120km Nations Cup competition as well as national rides is organised by the HPower Group and sponsored by Meydan. The event is expected to attract riders from around 40 countries with more than 600 horses taking part over the four days.