Aiming for world top ten

BURY St Edmunds' Sharon Hunt has been selected as part of the British Eventing team for next week's FEI World Equestrian Games.

BURY St Edmunds' Sharon Hunt has been selected as part of the British Eventing team for next week's FEI World Equestrian Games.

The call-up to the Games in Aachen, Germany, came off the back of an injury to the horse of one of the sport's great riders, Pippa Funnell in June, which saw Hunt's first reserve place turn into a full selection.

Hunt, 28, had initially caught the selectors' eyes earlier this year following a commendable sixth-place finish at the 2006 Badminton event in Gloucestershire.

The World Games is one of the biggest events on the equestrian calendar, with over 425,000 tickets sold already, but Hunt has no doubt her Irish-bred 12-year-old chestnut gelding, Tankers Town, will perform.

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She said: “He's been competing at the top level for three years now and loves the crowds. He thinks everyone is there to see him!”

And following her success at the Badminton event in May, Hunt is hoping for a strong performance in Germany so that she can hold onto her Great Britain place.

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She said: “I just hope I can put in the best performance I can. The level of competition will be very high, but I don't see why I can't finish in the top 10.”

Hunt, who lives in Great Saxham and went to Culford School, often trains seven days a week and rides up to 10 of her horses in a single day.

She got into riding after riding a pony on the beach one holiday and after subsequent lessons had her first pony at the age of seven.

Will Connell, World Class Performance Manager, said: “Sharon is testament to the importance of Lottery funding through the World Class Potential Eventing programme, which helps develop young riders to compete at International level.

“I am sure Sharon will not be fazed by the occasion and will deliver a top-class performance.”

The programme was established by the British Equestrian Foundation and is Lottery funded through UK Sport.

Its key objective is to identify talented young riders onto a developmental pathway, that will ultimately see them produced onto the Olympic Performance squads in 2008, 2012 and beyond. Hunt was selected for the scheme last year.

Hunt said: “Competing at London 2012 and being on home soil would be fantastic, that is the ultimate long-term aim. I would have to be on a new horse then but we've got a number coming through with potential.”

The World Equestrian Games started on Thursday.

For more information on the Games, visit:

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