Aussies name experienced team to take on Kiwis

November 12, 2009

from Stan Henderson in Adelaide

Australian selectors have named an experienced team to take on the Kiwis in the Trans-Tasman Challenge at the Australian International 3 Day Event in Adelaide over the weekend.

The announcement was made shortly after all 4 star horses trotted up for the ground jury in 38-degree temperatures this afternoon.

All 31 were accepted, with the five Kiwi horses looking 100% sound and full of running. Team members were smartly dressed in team uniforms.

Testament to the depth of Australian eventing and to the importance that team management is placing on this event in the lead-up to the WEG next year, is that all team members are Olympians and all are medal winners.

The Team announced this afternoon is:

Kiwi running order

The running order for the Kiwis has also been announced, with Clarke Johnstone on Oakley Vision first out, followed by Jenna Mahoney and Santos, Heelan Tompkins and Sugoi, with the anchor role going to the most senior team member, Australian based Blair Richardson riding Spend Up.

Having competed here in 2006 and being the in-form combination in recent New Zealand events, it is no surprise that Clarke and the experienced Oakley Vision have been chosen as the trailblazers for the team.

All hands were on deck today with the NZ Team support crew and grooms working hard to ensure all horses presented well for the ground jury. It was good to see past Chair of Eventing Selectors Mary Darby in a new role as groom for Heelan's horse Sugoi.

The competition begins in earnest tomorrow with the four star dressage scheduled to begin at 9.30am (12 noon NZT).

NZ team profiles