Dutch based Australian showjumper James Paterson-Robinson has made a massive jumping up the sport’s monthly Rolex Rankings, rising from 427th to 237th – a move up of 190 places.
Based at Ger Poels Horses stables in The Netherlands, the 33-year-old established himself as a young talent when making his international debut at the Young Rider Challenge tournament in India in 1998. Two years later, at the age of 21, he moved from his hometown of Victoria, Australia, where he was based at Barwon Heads Pony Club, to pursue his riding career in Europe. In 2001 and 2003, Paterson-Robinson won the five-year-old division of the FEI World Breeding Young Horse Jumping Championships, and many other notable wins followed.
Paterson-Robinson and the 11-year-old black stallion, Niack de l’Abbaye, had many successes in 2010, having won the CSI4* Geesteren (NED) Grand Prix; finishing in second place in the Nations Cup at the CSIO3* Linz-Ebelsberg (AUT); finishing second in the Nations Cup at the CSIO4* Lummen (BEL); and placed 13th in the Grand Prix at the CSI5* San Patrignano (ITA).
In May 2012, as the Olympic season drew closer, James produced a wonderful tied win aboard 11-year-old gelding, Um Diabo, in the CSIO4* Champion of Linz Grand Prix. Due to heavy rain throughout the first round, it wasn’t possible to stage the jump-off, so the prize money was equally distributed between the eight riders who jumped clear.
The first weekend of June 2012 was a great success for Paterson-Robinson and his 13-year-old gelding, Lanosso, who clocked the fastest time at the CSI4* Bourg-en-Bresse (FRA) Grand Prix, and was thus rewarded with automatic selection for the London Olympic Games.
The Australian Olympic team will comprise James Paterson-Robinson, Edwina Tops-Alexander and Olympic debutant, Julia Hargreaves, with one other rider who has yet to be selected. Paterson-Robinson expressed his nervous state before the event, due to the difficulty of the course, but explained that “the incentive to jump well at the Olympics was stronger than the nerves.”