More people, better horses, better places, more medals… this is the ambition that motivates the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), the National Governing Body for horse sports in the UK and the organisation behind Equestrian Team GBR. Toggi, a long-time supporter of British Equestrian Sports, gives us some insights into the magic that is Equestrian Team GBR.
Equestrian Team GBR is the official name given to our British Equestrian Teams who compete across a wide range of disciplines and who have enjoyed enormous success on Olympic, Paralympic, World and European stages at both senior and youth levels. Our Equestrian teams and the individual riders and horses who go to make up these teams are among the best in the world, with a medal tally that would be the envy of any great equestrian nation.
From 2000 to 2013 Equestrian Team GBR has won:
- 147 medals across dressage, eventing and showjumping at youth level
- 124 medals in Para-Equestrian Dressage
- 44 senior medals in the Olympic sports (Dressage, Eventing and Showjumping)
- 20 senior medals in the non-Olympic sports (Driving, Endurance, Reining and Vaulting)
Equestrian Team GBR competes across all eight FEI equestrian sports: dressage, eventing, para-equestrian dressage, showjumping, driving, endurance, reining, driving and vaulting.
Dressage – with the Germans and the Dutch having traditionally held the podium places in this most elegant of equestrian sports, in recent years Equestrian Team GBR has skyrocketed to the top of international dressage. The London Olympics in 2012 saw Equestrian Team GBR dressage riders lift team gold, individual gold and individual bronze on home soil, a result that lies as testimony to the talent of British dressage riders and that looks set to continue well into the future, given the strength and depth of talent at both senior and youth levels in this exacting sport.
Eventing – as the ultimate ‘all around test of horse & rider’, the three distinct phases of the sport of eventing – dressage, cross country and showjumping – require a horse and rider combination that are calm and elegant enough to perform in the dressage arena, brave enough across the country and careful and obedient enough in the showjumping ring, which is no mean feat. Great Britain has an impressive track record in the sport of eventing, with countless team and individual medals at Olympic, World and European Championship level. Several Toggi sponsored riders, including the legendary grand slam winner Pippa Funnell and world championship medallist Piggy French, have between them been on countless eventing teams and have won pretty much all that there is to win in this demanding sport.
Para-equestrian dressage – Para-equestrian dressage is the equestrian competition that features in the Paralympic Games; from 2010, it was included within the World Equestrian Games format and will now run on a four-year cycle of Championships with European Championships in the years between the World and the Paralympic Games. In para-equestrian dressage each rider is classified in a particular Grade (Ia, Ib, II, III or IV) depending on their disability – in order to provide fair competition. Great Britain’s Para-equestrian dressage riders are among the very best in the world and the drive, determination and absolute talent of riders such as Toggi’s own Sophie Wells, who won team gold and individual silver at the 2012 London Paralympics, is an inspiration to us all.
Showjumping – despite impressive results on the nation’s cup circuit in recent decades, Great Britain’s track record at Olympic Games has been disappointing. That is until the London 2012 Games when the team clinched an historic team gold medal in front of a rapturous home crowd. This gold medal was the first Olympic medal won by Britain since 1984 and the first gold since 1952. But with British riders now ranked number one and number two in the world, a bright future lies ahead for British showjumping.