LAMBOURN eventer Laura Collett believes Great Britain are well equipped to give the home fans something to cheer at next month’s European Championships.
Collett is part of a 12-strong Great Britain team, who will travel north of the border to Blair Castle for the Championships from September 10-13.
While the competition represents her second senior European Championships following her debut in 2011, Collett will be performing on home soil at the Championships for the first time.
The 26-year-old is certainly no stranger to competing at the highest level though, first representing Great Britain on the British Pony team back in 2005.
Earlier this year, she and Grand Manouevre, with whom she will compete in Scotland, won the prize for the best under-25 rider in the three-star at Barbury Castle while they also successfully completed Badminton.
And with the remainder of the team also showing promising signs this season, Collett believes it all bodes well for a title at success.
“I’ve never done a home championships before so it’s really exciting to have a chance to do that,” she said.
“Everyone says you have a real advantage being on home soil with the support team and everyone there. I’m really geared up and looking forward to it.
“I put quite a lot of pressure on myself. I just want the best to come out of it. I know the horse is capable of doing very well.
“He is good at all three phases but I’d say the dressage is his strongest phase. Cross country he’s reliable but sometimes he can get quite strong.
“I think it’s a strong team and there’s a definite chance of finishing up on the podium.
“Blair will be a proper championship track and I don’t think it will be a dressage competition.
“We’ve got a really strong team of riders and horses. I’d like to think we’ll be up there giving people a run for their money.”
With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games just 12 months away, the race is on to impress selectors going into the final run in next year.
Great Britain have already qualified a team spot although individual places will not be decided until closer to the games.
And Collett, who will miss this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials as she prepares for the Europeans, admits next summer is never far from her thoughts.
“It’s hugely important for next year,” she added.
“I’ve got a younger horse as well who I’d like to think is going well for next year.
“Everything is geared towards the Olympics and that would be the dream.”
The award winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials has been established as a major international equestrian and social event in the Autumn Sporting Calendar for more 50 years. Further information is available at www.burghley-horse.co.uk