The international entries are in for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at Hickstead (26 July), and it looks set to be a thriller with many of the world’s best riders lining up.
The USA makes a much-anticipated return to Hickstead, following their last victorious visit in 2014. Jessica Springsteen is due to make her first ever appearance at the All England Jumping Course, with fans of her father Bruce no doubt hoping he will be there to cheer on his daughter. Laura Kraut is a regular at Hickstead, spending half the year based with her partner Nick Skelton in Warwickshire, with Lillie Keenan, Wilton Porter and Catherine Tyree also lining up for Team USA.
Reigning champions Ireland return to Hickstead in the hope of retaining the Edward, Prince of Wales Trophy following their superb victory 12 months ago. Last year’s winning riders Anthony Condon and Michael Duffy are back on the squad, along with Brian Cournane, Paul O’Shea and Mark McAuley.
Sweden come to Hickstead in superb form, having just won their home leg of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup series in Falsterbo. Olympic silver medallist Peder Fredricson has been selected for the squad with team mates Stephanie Holmén, Fredrick Jönsson, Irma Karlsson, and Angelie Von Essen.
Germany has had plenty of success at Hickstead, winning the Nations Cup leg here five times in the past 11 years. Marcus Ehning, an Olympic gold medallist currently ranked 10th in the world, returns to the showground along with squad mates Patrick Stühlmeyer, Maurice Tebbel, David Will and Holger Wulschner.
Belgium will be hoping for their second ever Hickstead victory, following their first in 2015, with Dominique Hendrickx, Francois Jr Mathy, Jos Verlooy, Wilm Vermeir and Yves Vanderhassel selected for the squad. Brazil return to Hickstead following their phenomenal victory in 2017, with this year’s squad member Pedro Junqueira Muylaert the only rider to have been on the winning team two years ago.
The Italians haven’t won at Hickstead since 1994, but they will be hoping to end the drought with a strong performance next Friday. Their squad of five includes experienced Olympian Gianni Govoni.
There has been a change to the squad for the British team, with Ellen Whitaker replacing William Funnell. Ellen has been selected along with Ben Maher, Amanda Derbyshire, Amy Inglis and James Wilson, with the final team of four being chosen on Thursday 25 July.
Tickets for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at the Longines Royal International Horse Show (23-28 July) are on sale now from www.hickstead.co.uk