Australian based Eventers head to Melbourne for final event ahead of London team selection
For some competitors in this weekend’s Melbourne International CCI3* there’s more than the title at stake.
Olympic selection is on the line for some entrants and they’ll be giving it all they’ve got in what is the last opportunity for Australian based eventers to impress selectors before they choose the five member team which will go for gold in London.
Last year’s winner of the three star event, Craig Barrett, won’t just be defending his title when the event gets underway on Saturday, he’s here to put a good performance on the board and will be partnering with the 15 year old gelding Wendela Jamie, the horse which he rode to victory in 2011. The 42 year old is searching for his first Olympic Games berth and is pleased with the horse’s performance leading into the make or break event.
“He (Wendela Jamie) ran well at Camden two weeks ago and I’m really happy with how our preparations have gone,” said Barrett. “This is a big weekend for us and I’m hoping everything will come together and we repeat our efforts of last year,” he added.
Also on the hunt for his first Olympic Games berth is Tim Boland who placed second at last month’s Sydney International CCI3*. Boland and GV Billy Elliot have come to Melbourne to lay claim to a position on the five member eventing team and are among one of the favourites in this weekend’s event.
“He’s a good, sound horse with a lot to offer. He showed terrific form in Sydney and I’m here this weekend to reinforce his ability in front of the selectors because this is the final opportunity to do so,” said Boland.
Selectors will also be keeping an eye on the performance of UK based Australian Eventer Sam Griffiths who is due to start at this weekend’s Bramham CCI3* in Northern England with Happy Times.
The Melbourne International Three Day Event is celebrating 55 years in 2012 and will run from today until 11 June. The three star competition will get underway on Saturday and conclude on Monday.
Visitors to this year’s event will also be able to watch the Melbourne CDI-W which is the third round of the Equestrian Grand Final qualifier (Dressage). Australia’s top based Dressage combinations will be looking to score well and secure a position in the Equestrian Grand Final which will take place at EQUITANA Melbourne from November 15-18. The experienced combination of Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi currently lead the field with Maree Tomkinson and Diamantina IV not far behind.
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