Olympic hopefuls confirm eventing plans
7 May 2012
After the cancellation of Badminton Horse Trials, overseas based Aussie eventers have revised their preparations ahead of team selection and the 2012 Olympic Games.
Since notification of the event cancellation came through on Monday, the seven athletes due to compete at Badminton have looked to other major events in Europe to show selectors they’re ready for the Games.
With the exception of Sam Griffiths and Wendy Schaeffer, all combinations due to start at Badminton will head to the Saumur CCI3* in France from 17-20 May 2012. Other Badminton starters have chosen different events to take on with Griffiths heading to Tattersalls CCI3* in Ireland at the end of May and Schaeffer to compete Luhmuhlen CCI3* in Germany in mid-June.
Equestrian Australia’s National Performance Director for Eventing, Prue Barrett, said she is happy with each athlete’s individual plans leading into London.
“Since we were notified of Badminton’s cancellation we have spent the last few days working with all our shadow team members to re-look at their individual plans ahead of selection,” she said.
“We have been working hard with event organisers overseas to secure our riders a start in major events, such as Saumur, and were pleased we were able to lock in places at all of our chosen events. There were many countries such as New Zealand and Great Britain that were in the same position as us, so we needed to work quickly to make sure we could get our riders into the bigger events, which I’m pleased to say we were able to do.
“The nature of our Eventing program is that we work with each athlete and horse combination on our squads to prepare the best individual program for them that will maximise performances for the Olympic Games and do what is necessary to be selected.
“While the cancellation of Badminton did disrupt our plans it has in no way impacted our preparation and we are confident the schedules each rider has chosen will produce a well-prepared and strong Australian Eventing Team come the London Games,” said Barrett.
Australian Team selectors will be on hand at the Saumur CCI3*, with 11 Aussie combinations taking part, including:
1. Bill Levett Hippolyte
One Two Many NJ
2. Chris Burton Holstein Park Leilani
3. Clayton Fredericks Be My Guest
4. Lucinda Fredericks Flying Finish
5. Paul Tapner Inonothing
2008 Beijing Olympian Clayton Fredericks won the Saumur CCI3* in 2011 and will be out to not only defend his title but to show selectors what his made of.
This weekend Clayton Fredericks and Bill Levitt will compete in France at Jardy CIC3*. Fredericks will have his squad listed horses Bendigo, Be My Guest and Walterstown Don, as will Levitt riding One Two Many NJ and Hippolyte.
Fredericks is currently holding the top three places at Jardy CIC3* with Levett placed just behind him.
As was always planned, riders will continue to compete in various CIC events throughout Europe ahead of selection – details of final start lists will be confirmed closer to each event. The Australian Eventing Team is due to be announced on 18 June 2012.