EQUESTRIANISM: MALPAS rider Polly Stockton faces royal competition in her bid to make it to the Olympic Games in Athens next summer.
She has been named among 14 riders to compete for just five places in the Great Britain team - alongside Zara Phillips, daughter of The Princess Royal.
Polly faces a series of trials before the team to go to Greece is named, but she believes she has a 'reasonable' chance of being selected.
She has had a year of mixed fortunes, finishing second to grand-slam winner Pippa Funnell in the Kentucky equivalent of Badminton in April on Tangleman, after finishing second at Burleigh the previous autumn.
The Badminton event followed immediately on her return from America, but she had to retire when one of her horses crashed into a tree and was withdrawn with a nose bleed.
The biggest disappointment came when Tangleman was withdrawn from the British squad for the European Championships in Ireland because of injury.
As well as Tangleman, she has two other horses under consideration for the Olympic team - Eye Spy and Word For Word.
Polly said: 'Barring bad luck, I think I have a reasonable chance of getting into the team.
'Three places are virtually guaranteed already, so it's going to be difficult.'
As a full-time rider she is always seeking sponsorship - she lost a sponsor because of the financial climate - and would be happy to talk to anyone who could help. She can be contacted through British Eventing on 0247 6698856.