Posted on Saturday, May 5th, 2012 at 4:46 am.
Olympic hopefuls for Australian Eventing team confirm plans ahead of London
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. For full results – click here.
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.
CCI – Eventing International Three Day Event (same format as the Olympic Games)
CIC – Eventing International One Day Event (shorter and revised format)
3*/4* – The different levels of Eventing competition is determined by a star (*) rating and ranges from 1* to 4*. The higher the star, the harder the event. The event at the Olympic Games will be a 4* event.
Posted on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at 5:26 am.
(Ed note: Since this post was written, Badminton HT has been cancelled due to flooding. We will bring you news of Sam’s revised schedule as soon as possible.)
The beginning of the season has just flown past and now we’re just a week off Badminton! It always comes up quickly, but having said that we’ve been gearing up for it for months! Happy Times has started the season off well – I’ve just been giving him some quiet runs to prepare him and he’s put up some good performances. I’ve been working hard at home on his dressage with our Aussie team dressage coach, Brett Parbery and also with Charlotte Dujardin. Then I’ve also been training the show jumping phase with Ros Morgan, who has been fantastic with Happy, as he is a very quirky horse to train at home! Ros has even had me out to jumping shows with Happy and some of my other horses which has been so useful, working out warm up plans etc. Although I think I did ‘scream’ event rider when I was warming up at Wales and West in my xc hat and sheepskin breastgirth alongside Billy Twomey and one (never know which one as there are so many) of the Whitaker boys!! Rather embarrassing. But Lucy has rectified this by ordering me a very expensive show jumping hat….Better jumps some clears in it and win some money to pay for it!
We had a great weekend up at Belton with Happy and Paulank Brockagh (Brocks). Happy ran well, felt like a machine cross country, but it has to be said that Brocks stole the show – she was AMAZING! She scored a definite PB for her at advanced level in the dressage and then jumped the most fantastic double clear to finish 3rd in a seriously competitive advanced class. See pic of her flying the xc below. I am so excited about her – she could actually be a serious back up for me for the Games…we’ll see! Bramham is her next big run and I’m so looking forward to it.
I’ve also got a new ‘toy’ – a lovely young horse called Favorit Z aka Frodo! He is stunning! He was bought for me recently from Constantin van Rickvorsel who has produced him beautifully so I am very lucky to have him. He is still quite green but I am really hoping I might get him to Le Lion D’Angers at the end of the year – he’s a serious horse that’s got everything going for him. Very exciting. See pic below of him just ‘popping a 1m30cm oxer with ease….
In amongst all this, I’ve been doing quite a bit of training – I had a very succesful day at Boomerang for Horsequest, who had set up a competition to win xc training with me. What a lovely group of people they were. Then, similarly, Cosequin had set up a competition to win a lesson with me here at our yard – a lovely girl called Melanie came for a lesson (see pic) and by all accounts really enjoyed her time and I hope learnt a lot…?!
All the novice horses have been going well, although I’ve had a few balloted recently which has rather stopped play. Lucy’s two horses have been excellent too and both had very successful debuts at Novice level for Angelo and Intermediate level for Beaurepaire Nemo – both finishing in the top 5 at Gatcombe. I’ll have to start giving her duff information to stop her ‘cleaning up’ !! It was a great shame not to get a run at Hambleden, especially as we’d been going on and on about the amazing Hambleden bluebells to all our newly arrive antipodeans -aka Chris Burton and Alice Montgomery – they certainly wouldn’t get that at an Aussie/Kiwi event! Although, they probably wouldn’t get events rained off either!!
So with Badminton just days away now, it’s all just been putting the polish on things…Lucy has been videoing my schooling sessions at home and we have our grass arena set up now and I’ve been running through the test and then analysing the videos. Although, having said that, Lucy is my toughest critic so she doesn’t let me mess up too many square halts that’s for sure! We’ve had Brett here for a day last week and the week before and then I’ve got Ros coming again on Friday. Just to add a cherry on top to the tension of these next few days, I am running my head groom, Mouse’s horse, Mumbo Jumbo, in his first advanced at Withington this weekend…I think she may need some serious supplies of Rescue Remedy to get through all this. Having said that, maybe Mumbo needs some to help him through the dreaded flying changes!! I’ve got Real Dancer and Brocks running too this weekend….Brocks will then head to Chatsworth World Cup and Real Dancer is being aimed at Aachen and the new Nations Cup series later in the season. In the meantime, I’ve got a couple more gallop sessions to do on Happy and then the big ‘B’ is upon us…wish me luck!!! ~ Sam