British eventer Harry Meade will make his senior team debut after being selected for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which start in Normandy, France, at the end of the month.
Meade will ride Wild Lone, who is owned by Charlotte Opperman. Also joining the squad is Nicola Wilson, riding Annie Clover, who is owned by her parents Mary and Barry Tweddle.
Meade said it had been a lifelong aim to ride on a senior team, and he was excited about the opportunity.
“It has been a rollercoaster of a year for me and my support team. Whilst incapacitated over the winter [Harry shattered both his elbows following a fall across country in 2013] the thought of competing at WEG this year couldn’t have been further from my mind.
“I really feel for both Izzy and Pippa who must be so disappointed; it’s never nice to gain from a situation where others miss out.”
Speaking of his ride, the 13 year old Irish-bred bay gelding Wild Lone, Meade said: “Alf is a wonderful and reliable horse. We bought him from a hunter-dealer yard as a four year old but he has gone on to exceed all expectations by completing five CCI4* events and now being selected for the squad.
“I am thrilled for his owner Charlotte Opperman who has been a great supporter of me and my wife Rosie, and for our support team who work so hard to make it all happen.
“I am also extremely grateful to my sponsors as well as the UK Sport Lottery funding in their support of the British team. We are now all really looking forward to going to WEG, we’ll give it our best shot!”
Wilson said she was devastated to hear about both Taylor and Funnell having to withdraw their horses from the squad. “The build up to WEG this year really has been so difficult for everyone involved with the team.
“I am of course delighted that Annie Clover has been selected to go to WEG, she is a horse that my mum bought as a four-year-old and I have always thought so much of her. She is still only a young horse  but we have built up a strong partnership over the last six years and she has been so consistent in all of her three day events to date.
“She has always appeared to be a cool customer under pressure and takes each level in her stride so I am sure she will give her all at WEG, as will I. I am especially thrilled for my mum and dad who are the owners of Annie, they have been so influential and supportive throughout my career.
“It will of course be a very different experience going to a Championship without Dodie [Nicola’s former team ride Opposition Buzz, who has now been retired from 3DE] but as with him, I have built up a really strong relationship with Annie Clover and am very proud that me and my team at home have produced another horse to this level.
“Fingers tightly crossed that the next few weeks go smoothly and we can go out and do everyone proud.”
The team of four and the two individuals will be announced post trot-up at the competition. The full squad (in alphabetical order) is:
- Tina Cook (43) from Worthing, West Sussex with Mr Jim Chromiak and her own De Novo News
- William Fox-Pitt (45) from Sturminster Newton, Dorset, riding Mr Christopher Stones’ Chilli Morning
- Harry Meade (30) from Chippenham, Wiltshire, riding Mrs Charlotte Opperman’s Wild Lone
- Zara Phillips (33) from Stroud, Gloucestershire, riding Gleadhill House Stud’s Ltd. High Kingdom
- Oliver Townend (31) from Ellesmere, Shropshire, riding Karyn Shuter’s Black Tie II
- Nicola Wilson (37) from Northallerton, Yorkshire, riding Mary and Barry Tweddle’s Annie Clover