NZ names Olympic 'probables' in eventing, dressage

January 21, 2012

Equestrian Sports New Zealand has named its updated high performance squads for eventing and dressage in the lead-up to the London Olympic games.


2014 Eventing squad combination Caroline Powell and Porthill Rusty Nail. © Mike Bain
The 2012 eventing squad features Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Jonathan Paget and Clarke Johnstone. All have been solid in their performances and would need a disaster to not be named for London.

Caroline Powell, a member of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2010 World Champs, has slipped off the 2012 squad. She is without Lenamore, on whom she won Burghley in 2009, and her World Equestrian Games horse MacDonald, but has a good team in the making and been named on the 2014 squad.

Lenamore is not entirely out of the mix either, with a decision on his inclusion in the squad expected after Badminton International Horse Trials in May.

Dressage rider Louisa Hill is the newcomer to the 2012 squad after her sterling efforts in Australia including helping qualify a team slot for New Zealand at London. She has met the criteria for London but as yet is undecided when she will head to the UK or Europe to continue her campaign.

One who will be hoping to make the step from the 2014 squad to 2012 is dressage rider Vanessa Way (Taranaki) who with her horse KH Arvan just this week left for the United Kingdom where she will base with Carl Hester.

ESNZ high performance director Sarah Harris says it is tough for riders to make the top squads.

"The high performance squad criteria remains deliberately hard for all disciplines so that we drive our programme out of performance and into high performance," she says.

"Announcing all squads together like this is an exciting new initiative that allows the standard in each discipline to be viewed as one."

There are several aiming for the 2014 World Championships in France, including riders from showjumping, endurance, dressage, eventing and para-dressage.