Crowborough rider heads to European Championships

Francis Whittington competing in hunter trials
Francis Whittington competing in hunter trials

Francis Whittington from Crowborough has this year had his first call up to represent Great Britain in Eventing at Senior level later this week at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships in Blair Castle, Scotland from September 10-13.

The 37-year-old rider will be contesting the home European Championship with Catherine Witt’s Easy Target, known as ‘Smokey’ to his friends.

Francis forms part of a squad of 12 horse and rider combinations who will represent Great Britain (GBR) this week.

He is one of five athletes making their senior team debuts at Blair, whilst four of those selected have previously competed at a home Europeans, after riding at Blenheim in 2005.

Part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded #EveryRoadtoRio series, supporting British athletes’ preparation and qualification for Rio 2016, this summer’s event is the last major championship before the Olympic Games, where GBR will be represented having already qualified a team spot after the World Equestrian Games last year.

Yogi Breisner, chef d’equipe for the Eventing team, said: “I am really looking forward to going to Blair for a home European Championships. We are taking a very good and exciting squad with a lot of riders gaining their first senior Championship experience; we have also got some promising young horses making their Championship debut.”

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