After final nomination events last weekend, Australia’s London Olympic teams are beginning to take shape.
Confirmed members of our Olympic showjumping team so far are:
• Edwina Tops-Alexander
• James Paterson-Robinson
• Julia Hargreaves
James and Julia were the highest placed riders after the final nomination event at Bourg en Bresse in France, with James and his 12 year old gelding, Lanosso winning the 4* Grand Prix on Sunday. Thirty-three year old James, formerly from Geelong in Victoria, headed to Europe 12 years ago with a goal of representing Australia. He has placed at almost every European show he’s competed in and has won two 4* events, a 2* and several Grand Prix classes. He was a member of the Australian team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, and missed selection for the 2004 Olympics when his horse became unsound. Now he and Lanosso are heading for London.
”He is careful and scopey,” he commented. “He’s a fighter, on your side.”
Julia has her horses at Otto Becker’s yard near Munster in Germany and he has been helping her with training. Munster is a three-time Olympian, World Cup winner, European Champion and is now the German National Coach and team manager.
"I really owe this to my parent s and of course my owners, the Harvey family…I couldn’t have done this without them. And I cannot forget the help from George Sanna,” she said.
"I really thank Dennis Lynch (Irish Olympian) the most, he is the reason Vedor is jumping so well, he is the reason Vedor and I have turned the corner and the result today”.
Rachael Sanna had to withdraw Jaybee Alabaster due to injury.
The final dressage nomination event was Compiegne CDI3* in France last weekend and only Lyndal Oatley and Sandro Boy are confirmed so far.
Who will be joining is still being considered by selectors but a strong possibility is Lyndal’s cousin, Kristy Oatley and Ronan 2 who won the Grand Prix Freestyle with an excellent score of 74.475. Unfortunately Rachael Sanna had to withdraw from contention after Jaybee Alabaster suffered a minor injury.
An announcement is expected soon.
Shane Rose is a strong contender for the eventing team.
Selection events are still underway so our Olympic Eventing team won’t be selected until the end of June. So many riders and horses are in great form, both here and overseas so there’s no shortage…the only problem for selectors will be trying to choose from among them and this could come down to horse fitness and soundness. Seven Aussie eventers are ranked among the world’s top 20. Shane Rose, Stuart Tinney (both competing this weekend at the Melbourne International 3 Day Event); Clayton Fredericks and Chris Burton are enjoying continued success overseas, along with Megan Jones, Emma Scott and Emma Mason.
Unfortunately Stuart Tinney’s star horse, Panamera was ruled out after suffering a mild injury to her suspensory ligament.
Tophorse will be filming all the action of the Melbourne International 3 Day Event this weekend…check back for footage and interviews!