Equestrian Sports New Zealand this week announced two groups of eventing horses and riders for its High Performance Programme's 2010 and 2012 squads.
Three Olympians have made the squad for the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky - Joe Meyer and Snip; Andrew Nicholson and Avebury and Nereo; and Caroline Powell and Lenamore. These combinations are the only ones currently deemed capable of achieving a top 16 placing at WEG, based on recent performance, according to ESNZ.
However, combinations can be added to, or removed from, either squad by the selectors at any time. ESNZ said if enough combinations met its criteria it would name a team. The final selection for the WEG is likely to be in August 2010.
The second squad, for 2012, contains combinations deemed to have the potential, at this early stage, to achieve ESNZ and New Zealand Olympic Committee targets for the Olympic Games in 2012. Members of the 2010 squad may also form part of this squad, ESNZ says.
At the Olympics last year Powell and Lenamore finished 14th individually, and Todd and Gandalf were 17th. Meyer and Snip were 24th, and Nicholson, who rode Lord Killinghurst, was eliminated. Heelan Tompkins and Sugoi were 50th of the 55 finishers.
The squad comprises:
Matthew Grayling - Parklane Hawk
Clarke Johnstone - Orient Express
Joe Meyer - Clifton Lush
Andrew Nicholson - Armada
Jonathan Paget - Clifton Promise
Caroline Powell - Mac MacDonald
Tim Price - Vortex
Neil Spratt - Upleadon
Mark Todd - Gandalf
Heelan Tompkins - Sugoi
Annabel Wigley - Black Drum
Both squads will be reviewed at five four-star events before the WEG: Pau (October 2009), Adelaide (December 2009), Badminton and Kentucky (May 2010), and Luhmuehlen (July 2010).
The ESNZ High Performance Eventing Selectors are Andrew Scott (Convenor), Lynne King and Helen Christie. Erik Duvander, Eventing HP Leader, sits on the Panel of Selectors without power of vote.