Scott Brash to miss European Championships

Scott Brash
Scott Brash was part of the gold medal 2012 team
FEI European Championships
Discipline: Showjumping Venue: Aachen, Germany Date: 19-23 August
Coverage: Red Button and online on Thursday 20 August from 13:05-16:45, connected TVs and online on Friday 21 August from 16:50-19:00, BBC One on Saturday 22 August from 15:00-16:30, Red Button on Sunday 23 August from 14:50-17:30 then BBC Two 16:15-17:15

Britain's world number one showjumper Scott Brash will miss the European Championships in Germany - as the GB team attempts to qualify for Rio 2016.

Michael Whitaker (Cassionato), Joe Clee (Utamaro d'Ecaussines), Ben Maher (Diva II) and Jessica Mendoza (Spirit T) are the main riders, with Guy Williams (Titus II) as travelling reserve.

GB won gold at London 2012 but are yet to qualify for next year's Olympics.

Brash will instead head to Canada with his horse Hello Sanctos.

He is aiming to become the first winner of the £700,000 Rolex Grand Slam, which is awarded to any rider who wins successive grands prix at Geneva, Aachen and Spruce Meadows.

The event is the final qualifying championship before Rio 2016.external-link

Three remaining places are up for grabs, but Britain can expect strong competition from countries including Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain.

"Qualifying for Rio is at the front of our minds," said British chef d'equipe Di Lampard.

"We are absolutely committed to giving Great Britain the chance to defend the Team Gold title which was won at London 2012.

"We move forward to Aachen as a strong, united team and are looking forward to the championships and all it brings."

Great Britain squad
Joe Clee37BelgiumLudwig Criel's Utamaro d'Ecaussines
Ben Maher32Bishops StortfordTatiana Korsakova's Diva II
Jessica Mendoza19NetherlandsSarah Mendoza's Spirit T
Michael Whitaker55WhattonBeverley Widdowson's Cassionato
Guy Williams (travelling reserve)44FranceCharlotte Baines' and his own Titus II

The team is the same one that won the Rotterdam leg of the Nations Cup in June.

Maher, who was part of the GB team that won show jumping gold at London 2012, said: "It is a previous winning combination that has been selected consisting of good horses and we are all looking forward to repeating the form we had together in Rotterdam."

Rider Whitaker said: "I think we've got a very good team, it's been a good selection. All horses have been on really good form; in fact they have all been brilliant.

"We have got five fighters going forward and there isn't one that you wouldn't want on your side. I'm looking forward to it and feeling confident."

There will be three Olympic qualifying places awarded from the 2015 European Championships in Aachen, with these awarded to the highest placed nations after the team final.

Netherlands, France, Germany and Sweden have already qualified for Rio.

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