LAURA BECHTOLSHEIMER from Ampney St Peter has officially been selected to represent Britain at dressage in the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam from August 17 to 21 Laura will ride her top Olympic hopeful Mistral Hojris and is due to clash again with her main rival in world dressage, Germany’s Matthias Rath and his brilliant horse Totilas.

“This is an exciting team to be a part of as there’s so much potential,” said Laura. “The Europeans are the key task but we’ll grow as a team and start to make our mark in preparation for next year.”

Also selected are Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, both from Newent. They will ride Utopia and Valegro respectively and will share a reserve horse.

“I’m over the moon, I just couldn’t believe it when I got the call,” said Charlotte.

“Valegro and I are still quite new to it all and have only been at Grand Prix level for six months so I’m very proud of us both. “The best of it all is I’m on my first team with Carl (Hester) to whom I owe so much.”

Emile Faurie from Milton-under-Wychwood in Oxfordshire is the fourth member, riding Elemegardens Marquis.

The event will prove to be a clear indicator for selectors looking to form the GB team for the London 2012 Olympics.

All four riders will compete in the Grand Prix team test at the European Championship with the best three scores to count.

The top 30 riders then progress to the Grand Prix Special where individual medals can be won based on the highest average percentage score. The best 15 riders (a maximum of three from any one nation) then go forward to the Grand Prix Freestyle where individual medals will be awarded for the top three riders.

All four riders are on the World Class Programme, which is generously supported by Lottery and Exchequer funding via UK Sport.

THE BOX OFFICE has now closed for tickets to the 2011 Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, near Minchinhampton this weekend. Tickets will be available on the gate, £15pp for Saturday and £18pp on Sunday. Parking is included in the ticket price. Gatcombe is a fantastic event which offers the chance to see world-class riders and experience a Badminton-like atmosphere without the same huge crowds.