The race for this year’s Federation Equestrian International (FEI) Para-equestrian European Championships is heating up, and that has riders in the region flocking to Roosendaal, the Netherlands on Friday (29 May).
The latest European three-star international competition, which runs until Sunday (31 May), will give riders a chance to gain those coveted championship spots in August. Even more, with this week’s event drawing competitors from around the world, athletes get to see how they measure up to international competition as the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games draw closer.
The Dutch lead the way with a strong team that includes their Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games champions Rixt Van Der Horst and Sane Voets, as well as Demi Vermeulen and Nicole Den Dulk – both who medalled at those World Games.
Full teams from Singapore; Hong Kong, China; and Russia – making their 2015 debut in Europe – will be competing.
Challenging the host nation will be: Israel’s Yonatan Dressler; Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Sharbatly; Denmark’s popular Stinna Tange Kaastrup; Singapore’s Laurentia Tan; and South Africa’s Beijing 2008 double-gold medallist Philippa Johnson–Dwyer – currently residing in Belgium.
Great Britain are sending their London 2012 team gold medallists Sophie Wells and Deb Criddle; as well as a crop of its up-and-coming athletes Erin Orford, Nicky Greenhill and Heather Bennett.
Riders from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Ireland will also contend.
Visit the FEI’s website to follow the para-equestrian competition in Roosendaal.