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Kiwis unplaced, but praise Olympic venue

July 7, 2011

Kiwi eventers were out of the top 10 at the Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational in London overnight, but still full of praise for the historic venue for next year's Olympics.

Andrew Nicholson and Viscount George. © Fiona Reddick/Horsesports Photographic
Double Olympic gold medallist Mark Todd was the best of the New Zealand trio, finishing in 15th spot aboard youngster NZB Campino in the test event.

"What an amazing venue," he said. "I think it will be made to work really well for next year. The organisers are keen to take on comments to make it a fantastic games."

All three of the Kiwi eventers were clear of jumping penalties over the tight and hilly cross-country course, with Todd one of just seven combinations to go on to double clear in the showjumping.

Andrew Nicholson and Viscount George finished in 17th position, with Clarke Johnstone and Incognito 25th.

Nicholson was also happy with the test venue.

"It is impressive and very different to what we are used to," he said. "It will definitely be an exciting cross country at the games."

Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance director Sarah Harris was pleased to see how well the young New Zealand horses coped with the charged environment and atmosphere. "It was a very well organised event," she said.

Honours went to Great Britain's Piggy French aboard DHI Topper. Second was current world champion Michael Jung (GER) on River of Joy.

From an organisational perspective, the last few days have provided a bank of information and ideas that will be sifted through in great detail as debriefing takes place.

LOCOG equestrian competition manager Tim Hadaway said comments from competitors and everyone else involved in the event will all be taken on board.

The next big competition for the New Zealand eventers will be at the Aachen International Festival (Germany) in mid July.



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