Australian Eventing Team Appeal

 

At 8.00am Friday 22 June 2012, Equestrian Australia (EA) nominated the Eventing team of Andrew Hoy (Rutherglen) Chris Burton (Holstein Park Leilani) Clayton Fredericks (Bendigo) Lucinda Fredericks (Flying Finish) and Shane Rose (Taurus) to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection.

Equestrian Australia can confirm that during the 48 hours given to athletes to appeal against the nominated team, athletes have lodged an appeal which will be heard by an independent tribunal in due course.  The final team selections will be advised by the Australian Olympic Committee.  

Equestrian Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee will not be in a position to make any further comment until the appeals process has run its course.

 

 

Comments

I think there should be an appeal. I believe that a large part of the team was selected on previous performances and the fact that they are already based in Europe. There are many riders here in Australia that have the results that qualify them better than some of those selected. I wonder if those riders in Australia were told that they would have a better chance of getting nominated if they based themselves in Europe.

agree with the overseas thing. Its bad for the sport in Australia if opportunities like Olympic and WEG only exist for the people wealthy and lucky enough to base themselves in Europe, when there is so many good horses and riders here...

There are definately 2 combinations on there that based on performances alone, probably should not have been selected over other combinations on the current shadow/elite squad.
Like any sport, eventing selection has it's politics and occasionaly, they make the incorrect decisions.
It is all well and good to have a good dressage horse on an eventing team, but if it can't showjump (Well when it does it drags 3 rails down) it isn't going to bring us home a gold medal.
To me personally, even 1 of the horses on the travelling reserve list doesnt make much sense... Not even a 4 star run??? Let's face it, it is the olympics the fences are going to be big, and the questions even bigger! Let's try and get a team together that has a great shot at gold!!!

I am glad to hear that there has been an appeal. Andrew Hoy's selection seems hard to justify. Did Thorpedo get picked for the swimming team because he has a lot of Olympic experience and may just peak in time? No. The athletes that deserved to go, and who have performed to the required standard at the selection events, were picked. Andrew's horse had a 20 at Kentucky less than 2 months ago, has never showjumped clear at an international event, and has never made time above ** level. Can you imagine an Australian based combination even being considered with such a record?? Similarly, Lucinda Fredericks' horses, whilst clearly very impressive in the showjumping and dressage, seems (according to the British Eventing results database) to have not made time xc since it was at 1* level. At March this year in Fountainbleu the results show no cross country time penalties, however 12.8 showjumping time, which must mean cross country. I have no doubt that Lucinda - and perhaps Andrew - could go out there and produce medal winning performances for us, however I am not comfortable with the fact that they seem to have been selected on their experience and the occasional display of brilliance, and the possibility this promises, rather than performances. What message does this send to home based combinations who have churned out consistent - not dazzling, but consistent - performances for several years? I really hope for their sake that they have been provided with direct feedback regarding their exclusion from the team. I really feel for Emma Mason - surely she deserved a spot on the plane, even if only as a reserve. It seems bizarre that Megan and Tim were picked ahead of her, Megan's horse has never beaten hers and Tim was obviously chosen on his result at Melbourne, yet had not been consistent up until this point.

It is very easy to sit behind a computer screen and sound critical, and I am very aware that the selectors are privy to information that the average punter such as myself cannot access. In the lead up to this announcement everyone was commenting on how hard this team would be to pick due to the number of fantastic combinations. I just hope that firstly the elite, overlooked riders - and then the eventing community at large - are provided in time with some insight into the rationale for selecting this team. It is quite embarrassing to see that there have now been appeals in dressage, showjumping and eventing. It really is not a good look and could create some very negative publicity for equestrian sports if a journo goes to town with it. I think the NZers had the right idea, moving their entire elite squad to the UK in the lead up to selection. At least they were being fairly and squarely assessed on a level playing field. As Sharon suggested above, perhaps if Australians were told that they would have a better chance of getting selected if they based themselves in Europe, they would have made different choices. I'm sure at least a few of them thought they had done everything they needed to do here, based on super performances at Adelaide, Sydney etc, but would have hot footed it to Luhmullen if they knew what they know now!

It will be very interesting to see how this particular cookie crumbles.

AMEN! Emma Mason should be on that plane, having consistantly beaten two out of the three Aus based horses on the plane.. doesnt that speak for itself??????

Sorry I don't agree that the NZer have it right, I am one and it is terribly unfair system. It costs the riders so much to go base over there and some have businesses and families and can't justify the move for 6 months on the whim that they may get picked.

This is no different from other sports who have to go overseas to qualify and prove themselves against the world's best. I feel for a couple of the combinations here but I feel for the selectors too who can only compare Australian based results with International results. Not saying that the ones who have stayed here can't compete with the best, its just that in the last 12 months, they haven't proven that they can. Don't show a bias against those who have taken a gamble and gone overseas, they at least are showing a true indication of whether they can compete with the rest of the world. It really is no different to other sports - if anything, swimming is the one exception to the olympic qualifying rule.

Heidi, you raise a very good point. I wrote the long post above and can absolutely see how the concept of basing overseas in the lead up to the Games is cost prohibitive for many, and looking at the Australian riders, I think it would be hard for someone like Emma Mason to put her life as a full time lawyer on hold for 6-12 months, similarly it is not feasible for many full time riders who rely on teaching/producing horses to "shut up shop" and relocate overseas. I pointed out the NZ system because it seems that those who were in contention for the games (and I could be wrong, perhaps there are others still in NZ who couldn't afford to go) were attending the same selection events and were therefore competing on a level playing field. At least your NZ selectors/high performance managers seem to be honest enough to say, you've got to go overseas if you want to be selected, and too bad if you can't afford it. My qualm with the Aussie system is that the selectors don't stand out there and say "you will have a better chance of making a team if you go overseas." They are not completely transparent. It is terribly unfair for riders here who have consulted with the selectors and thought they'd done enough. And as someone has said below, even Australian events that were not supposed to be selection events such as Melbourne 3DE CCI***, obviously were considered by selectors, hence Tim Boland's selection. The selection criteria needs to be streamlined and better explained. Not just to elite riders but all of us. We pay taxes that help fund the team, and as EA members, contribute that way too and we have a right to understand the decisions they make with our money.

Looks to me like they have the team right. If you look at the most recent four star form Andrew Hoy finished on a score of 48 and Emma Mason was on 55, how can you put her ahead of him? He also was one of a small number who went under the time at Luhmuhlen.

i think that comparing penalty points alone is not right - we all know that Australian judges NEVER award such high dressage scores as opposed to the international judges - so we are alwasy going to be behind form the start if your comparing penalty points... at every international event i have competed at (up to 3*** level at major CIC an CCI events) i have ALWAYS had the best penalty score come from the international judge....huge discrepancies from the start with 10-15% differences!! EMMA MASON SHOULD BE ON THE TEAM before Lucinda (nice horse but as she said has only been eventing for 2 years!!!) and Andrew (not consistent enough) i also think Tim Boland is very lucky to be on the reserve list - lovely, lovely horse but inconsistent - i would be putting my money on this horse for WEG though.

I was surprised at the nominations, but I suppose, like Team GB, they have to take into account dressage (must be good to match the Germans) and agility on XC, as Greenwich is extremely tight.

Can't discount the fact that the Europe based riders are at an advantage, with the amount of experience they get...

Equestrian Australia needs to select teams based on merit, not past glories and reputation. Why do we select the majority of our team from European based riders when we have riders here with qualifications that are better? What sort of message is that sending to up and coming event riders here? Don't bother to have an Olympic dream? Maybe we need to change the selection criteria and make it compulsory to compete at least 2 events here within a specified timeframe in the lead up to an Olympic Games. Of course it's not simple but you can't ignore the riders here who have better results. It is after all the AUSTRALIAN eventing team...isn't it?

...from my point of view here in France, every time I interviewed and talked with AUS (and NZL too) riders, they always mentionned that to be based in Europe would be an advantage for any selection. Chris knew it and did it, as well as Clarke (Johnstone). That does not mean that you're a better rider if you compete here, but it sounds clear that it can be taker into account when the selectors have to decide. Anyway, let's wait and see...but for me, and for many French equestrian specialists, whoever composes the Australian team, they all are very competitive and among the best combinations in the world! :-)

I agree that there are definitely two combinations that, based on their results should not have been nominated. Take Bill Levett for an example in the Elite Squad- he has consistently delivered the results needed to be taken seriously but once again over looked. A contender that I hope we will now see and a fair approach to this team selection.

its the olympics.... they need to "dazzle" not be consistent. no point in taking consistent combinations just to get a completion. if they want a medal they need to be very impressive! and you cant deny that the best riders and horses in the world are based in europe.

I agree with anon the selectors select the team that they think has the best chance of winning a gold medal. Consistent average scores are not going to win. Sure perhaps there are a couple of risky selections on the Aussie team but they have the potential to pull off a super score that will help win gold. Remember at the Olympics two scores are discarded for the team total so if one of the risky one does not come off it is not a huge issue, but if one of the risky combinations pull it out of the bag it could lead to a gold medal and then we will all be congratulating the selectors.

Yeah sure, of course they need to dazzle in order to win medals as individuals. But as a team we need some guarranteed finishers - combinations like Emma Mason and F1 Pharinelli!!!!!!!! Andrew Hoy and Lucinda Fredericks' horses have not learnt to make time yet at that level. Undeniable fact, look at their results. So whilst they may have some results that appear dazzling (hmm, well maybe in Lucinda's case, I fail to be dazzled by any of Andrew's), how do we know that they are going to make time round a course that is apparently going to be very twisty and hard to make time on. A dazzling dressage score doesn't look all that crash hot when you add 10-15 time penalties to it. Nor when you pick up a 20 because you travel at a pace your horse hasn't experienced before and it ducks out at an arrowhead. Nor do 5 rails in the showjumping because your horse is so exhausted from making time at that level for the first time in its life and is still tired from running round a 4 star 6 weeks earlier!

I think if you look at the results from Olymics and World Games over the past twelve years, in almost every case the best performed rider of the Austrlian team has been a rider based in Australia not Europe.

Actually, Lucinda and Brit should have taken gold at the 2008- they followed team instructions to take the long route the 2nd last fence that cost them the time penalties that lost them the medal. Why put your best performing and best medal chance combination as the pathfinder? ridiculous.

its all about the big guys and the money. Expected those that did the hard work at home not to get in. Well done committee. Its all about the bih bucks

In reply to the europe based AUS riders getting picked......The NZ riders that were serious about going to the Olympics were asked to go to the UK/europe and compete over there to be selected. They had to put their own money up to do this. We have always loved that the Australians can do it from Australia and still beat everyone else... I think there were a few more riders in Aus that should have been on the team...

In reply to Ann, our riders may have qualifications but the Europe based riders have superior experience competing against the best in the world ie W.F.P, Mark Todd, Andrew N, Mary King, the Germans etc etc.m and far more events of higher quality. If you have been following eventing for the last 25 yrs only the cream have risen to the top here, Stuart, Megan, Shane, Wendy, Phillip, Boyd etc, etc and only a handfull stayed, the others departed and reaped the rewards. Our funding should be spent on sending our home based riders away for experience to the top events overseas. Pick up an old Eventer and our top riders have been slogging it out for 12- 15 years for very little rewards. We should stop getting caught up in " flavor of the month " junior and young riders who get given blue ribbon horses, who at the end of the day can't ride and disappear from the scene when having to move up. All the Elite riders started on ' yangers and fangers' and that is why they ARE THE BEST. A new approach to looking after our riders whose whole life has been taken up with the end goal,very little money,trying to find that perfect horse and keep it sound, and shortage of owners like overseas, makes disappointment like this selection hard.

Anon is right on. The OS based riders compete every week against 50-120 others in class's on a weekly basis and they learn from their opposition.
Get our promising riders over there in the thick of it and get the selectors over there on a regular basis as well. It's the old saying about the big fish in a little pool at home but take them into the lake and they will learn more.
Every other sport is putting their best up against the world stage on a regular basis not just relying on a few events in our own backyard with no real pressure at stake. It is easy to tell from the comments above those who are really familiar with OS performances and conditions and those that only give it some thought every time an Olympic or WEG team is picked.

It looks like they have the team right to me. If you look at their most recent four star form. Andrew Hoy finished on 48 and Emma Mason finished on 55....

Yes, Andrew finished on a 48 at Luhmuhlen and Emma finished on a 55 at Adelaide. But also at Adelaide, Shane finished on 61.5, Megan on 61.5 and Tim on 99.4, yet they've all been picked ahead of Emma???

All the aussie eventers that want to be selected need to go overseas because we just dont have the events here like they do overseas! All your Europe based riders go out competing 4 star events all the time and the ones here do it once a year! But remember there all Australians in the end so what does it matter that they live here or overseas!

It reads more like a riders list................ I thought that our Aussie riders have more consistent results than some of the overseas riders. We have supported our home based riders by attending many events, sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, national events like scone. We have watched many exciting performances by the elite squad riders, nail biting finishes, have stayed at events until 5pm or longer to watch the show jumping and support the sport and the efforts of our top riders. Just feel as though I don,t even know most of the overseas selected riders. Can,t believe Emma mason was not selected, even as a reserve. She has done everything asked of her by the relevant people but still not selected, gut wrenching. Consistent performances can hopefully be relied upon to be consistent, one off out of the blue performances are not necessarily reliable. In relation to performers overseas and riding the tracks, we have world class course designers in Australia and Adelaide xc was tough. Our elite squad members and others have ridden world class tracks here at home, they will be fine overseas. Seen one sets of ducks, you,ve seen them all.

As best as I can put it together, results/placings sourced from official web sites, eventingnsw & british eventing.
Pharanelli 2012/2011/2010 period - 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 1st, 5th, 1st, 13th, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 3rd (4 star), 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 11th, 5th, 8th, 1st, 1st, 1st. All results are 3 star plus 1 x 4 star.
Rutherglen 2012/2011/2010 - 6th (4 star), W, 17th (4 star), W, 14th, 3rd, W, 3rd, R, 22nd, 9th, 22nd, 6th, 11th, 2nd, 8th, 2nd, 12th, W, 20th, W, 14th, 3rd. Results are mixture of 2,3, & 4 star, A, AI, OI etc. One I looked at appeared to be a height of 1 metre i.e. BE100. So I guess A means advances, what height is that?? Interesting to compare.

Andrew and Rutherglen, I am at a loss to explain. I can only feel that they have selected Andrew, and not the horse? Of about 10 runs over the last 18 months, he has Retired, Withdrawn or Eliminated out of 5 of them, and has had a stop XC two events ago. High Risk, one would think. Even Andrew and Lucinda were surprised to be chosen....
Not sure why you need to be based overseas - look at the results - the aussie based combinations have always scored higher at the Olympics. The competition is really tough here - Emma should be on that plane based on her absolutely consistent performances at all of the top competitions- always right up there, which cannot be said of many of the othe other combinations.

Why is it important to base overeseas? When you look st the results in prev olympics the Aussie based rider/horse combinations always scored better than the overseas based combinations.
Cant understand why Emma Mason hasnt been picked....I know that if I was a betting person I would be putting my money on her (a) to finish -unlike some of the other risky combinations and (b) to finish highly placed - maybe even win. She has always beaten at least one of the travelling reserves and on the tough Sydney track (which was supposedly the most like Grennich hilly conditions) she was one of the very few to SJ clear (would have won but for 2 time penalties). Melbourne was a fairly soft track in comparison, not at all hilly, and was NOT supposed to have been a selection event. Once again the goalposts changed. Poor Emma must be seriously confused...I hope she is appealing. How can Andrew and Lucinda be jumping in at this late stage based on one performance (not exactly consistent!) - even they both commented that they were really surprised to be picked - ?????? go figure....
Andrew and Rutherglen I am at a loss to explain. I can only feel that they have selected Andrew, and not the horse? Of about 10 runs over the last 18 months, he has Retired, Withdrawn or Eliminated out of 5 of them, and has had a stop XC two events ago. High Risk, one would think.

Tim Boland over Emma Mason, whats going on there?!? His result at Melbourne was surely due to the fact he was not completing against the top riders. I am totally behind Emma Mason

I agree. Tim had a fall at Albury this year, had a refusal at equestriad a month ago, and only won Melbourne because all the horses that were half a chance of being selected were in the CNC event.
But the selectors obviously want the flashy dressage horses that can come up with a win when their stars align... hence the likes of Andrew and Lucinda being selected.

Leilani 2012/2011 placings - 19th (AI, advanced intermediate??), 2nd (3 star), 2nd (AI - what height is this),
16th (OI open internediate??), 8th (4 star), E (4 star), 3rd (3 star W), 22nd (OI), 24th (3 star)
Super horse for the future but right now?? These are not great consistant results compared to some of our home based riders. I also understood that some of our riders did not need to run at Melbourne so they didn't. Yet Billt Elliott is on the team after Melbourne - was that a qualifying event??

I think to make it a level playing field there should be qualifing rounds such as they do in other large international sport. They have a specific set of courses that include international events (ie if based in Aus must be NZ, USA, Europe or Britain) if based in Britain/Europe must have ONE in Aus, NZ or USA etc. If this was done across the board then you would see more international riders having to move around also; instead of being based, competing and ultimately winning more often overseas. This would enable to see the combination compete under a whole different set of circumstances (ie how they cope with travel, different climates etc) and still be based wherever you want. If they dont meet the required qualifications they dont even get on the list to be choosen. Comparing apples with apples is the best way forward. Doesnt make sense to me that it should be any other way. Def is an expensive way to go but if Australian and NZ riders have to fork out just to compete with other countries then so should everyone else! It would also bring more money to the events in places other than Britain and ultimately more recognition for the sport and thats what we all want! By having a system so obviously flawed and seemingly fickle doesnt lend any creedence to the sport and descredits any progress made in the last ten years!!

A few points....
1) A quick look through the results of quite a few of the horses (of all nationalities) competing at Luhmuhlen shows that a very large majority of them did personal best tests by around 7-10 or more penalties! Quite a good day to do dressage or perhaps the results reflect that the judges were having a very happy day?
In particular, Rutherglens 34 is quite an anomaly esp when compared to his 56.5 at Kentucky!! (See https://data.fei.org/Result/CompetitionSearch.aspx?p=5E433D796493849EE31...)
It was also Flying Finishs best score by about 9-15 penalties!! (See https://data.fei.org/Result/CompetitionSearch.aspx?p=5D8746909B37628A08A...)
2) None of the dressage judges at Luhmuhlen are judging at London.
3) Anne-Mette Binder IS judging at London. She judged at both Adelaide and Kentucky. Nick Burton is also judging at London and also judged Kentucky. Gill Rolton is the third judge and she judged at Sydney 3de. As mentioned above, Rutherglen scored 56.5 at Kentucky under the Olympic judges. Every Australian based rider on the list (and quite a few others!!) scored higher at Adelaide under the Olympic judge than Andrew Hoy did at Kentucky.
4) As previously mentioned, the highest placed Australian at the past 4 Olympics has been Australian based.

Not my "opinions" ... but some actual "facts" to think about. (Happy to give you my opinions ... if you have a few spare hours and are over 18!!)

I agree with the facts, quite insightful. But I believe that you should take a look more towards the field in which they posted these scores. Lucinda performed a better dressage score than the current world champion, and arguably the favorite for the gold, MIchael Jung (although he wasn't on his suspected Olympic mount "Sam", his horse "Leopin" in fact beat "Sam" at Fontainebleau and has produced world class dressage performances consistently this year.) Whether it was a happy day for the judges or not, the magnitude of the score doesn't deter from the fact that she was leading in an international field, and offers an indication as to her potential to be close to MIchael, or any top riders, again in London.
As for the other two phases, there are weaknesses, just as there are weaknesses in any of the riders either going or not going to the Olympics. With potentially two rounds of show jumping, I believe that Lucinda's "Flying Finish" could offer the clean rounds that Australia may need (as the horse has only ever knocked a single rail in its entire eventing career, and never had a rail at 3 or 4 star levels.)
When it comes down to the guts of the argument, these combinations seem capable of producing gold medal performances just as easily as they could produce bombshells. So, do we go for medals at the risk that some may not finish, or have everyone finish on consistent scores.

First for the facts ...
Even the amazing Michael Jung and Leopin scored their best dressage score ever - approx 5 penalties better than Foutainbleau and 11 penalties than the 4**** at Luhmuhlen last year.

Now for something a little bit closer to opinion...
Yes, they were very competitive in an international field BUT so have many Australian based riders when placed in the same position (Burto recently, Megan at Hong Kong, Shane at Burghley, even way back to Sunburst) What we are attempting to do here is compare results from different events at different times as best we can.
Lucinda and Andrew have produced amazing, one off results 6 weeks before the Games which leads to 2 questions...
1) How these horses are going to recover from this effort and will they be at their best to front up to another 4 **** event so soon? Unlike many Australian based horses (and most of the British team) which have been setting and preparing specifically to peak for the Olympics.
2) If Luhmuhlen was obviously going to have far more weight as a selection event than Adelaide, why weren't all the Shadow Team riders advised of this so they could plan their program accordingly?

As mentioned above, Alex Lochore rated Adelaide very highly, esp as a selection event for Greenwich. Lucinda Green also expressed a similar view when she was out here earlier in the year. Adelaide proved to be a very good preparation for Hong Kong, which was also not a flowing, galloping English type track.

And now for total opinionated opinions ...
It is a pity it is only our selectors that don't value Adelaide as any sort of indicator for team selection, as everyone else seems to think it is a great event. For NSW based riders, it appears that a 24 hour flight to England/Europe is mandatory rather than the 22 hour drive to Adelaide. And so our selectors undo 20 years of hard work and send eventing in Australian scuttling back to the 80's. So lets pack those bags and meet up New Australia, Wiltshire, England!! Last one out - turn off the lights.

I understand the difficulty of Adelaide being the only truly accessible CCI**** for Australian based riders. However with it running that long before the Olympics, can it truly show a horses form coming into London. If it were the true selection event, would Shane be going to the Olympics with 16 jumping penalties??? No, he proved the horse had improved form and fronted up to win Sydney and the Trans Tasman. These more recent results are surely weighted more heavily than performances at the end of last year... Maybe Luhmuhlen is too late, but I also think that Adelaide is a little early and could offer an indication, but is not really a basis for selection unless backed up by recent form with wins in CCI/CIC*** later this year.. Not many are doubting the selection of Clayton, Chris and Shane because they have been winning CCI/CIC*** consistently throughout this first half of the year. Lucinda has done similar coming second to Ingride Klimke at a CCI*** in Italy, and now proven that "Flying Finish" can put everything together at a CCI****. Was it too late? The selectors don't think so. Andrew Hoy on the other hand was a shock to me, and really didn't prove himself without any CONSISTENTLY good performance (only Luhmuhlen really). In my Opinionated opinion, Megan should replace Hoy, and Tim should be replaced by Emma as a reserve.. This would seem more appropriate.

None of the British team have run in a 4**** this year (and definately not 6 weeks before the Olympics!)
I guess we shall have to see how this works out for them

Just a note in relation to? Re Megan's selection due to their poor Adelaide result, since then Megan set aside Jesty & focused on Allofasudden - who has improved expediently a proven performer at big champs I feel selectors know she will get around a bring a score home. Tim I think should be swapped for Emma - I know sound simple - Billy Elliot not good enuf CC. Shane & Stuarts Panemera the 2 certainties from Oz - but 1 out injured so IMHO no other exceptional Oz based performers but alot of really close combinations. As for the OS selections Clayton could b on there with a couple of mounts-so in. After watching all phases of Lucinda & FF - I think the selectors have taken a top risk, amazingDr, Very good SJ & the CC time are rider - the horse has time in him and is amazingly honest - in fairness to Lucinda she preempted her 4* time pen - due to 1st run & preferring to build FF's confidence -mission accomplished. Their brilliance is worth risking a discard. The big risk SJ is Andrew - but the horses CC was flawless & Dr brilliant, is this worth risking their SJ I honestly don't know run them as individuals. Chris Burton was a standout when here & has peaked at the right time, due to heading OS to maximize his selection chances - deserves a team spot.
But apart from switching Emma for Tim, I'm happy - this team looks to be able to score a sub 150 after discard and that is where the medals will be.
I look forward to it being finalized no matter whom - so the Equine stars can get there and settled and we can all get behind our team OS or Oz based:-))

Could not agree more!! Very accurate.

Technical Delegate Alec Lochore (GBR) commended the event for an impressive venue and high standard of competition. “I think this event is fantastic. What you have here with the stands and the arenas is a world-class facility. The course was a true four-star track, the winners are true four-star riders and horses and would be competitive at any four star competition in North America or Europe. You are absolutely right up there. It is a top class competition and worthy of the status.

Absolutely Alex, thankyou very much for the glowing remarks. Keep the faith Aussie supporters, we are up there with the best and capable of meeting the challenge from a home base. I watched the first water element at Adelaide (as many, many people did) and the drop into the water was huge. Two or 3 strides to an element in the water and 2 or 3 to the exit element all on a curving line. There was also a jump combination early in the course, a circular sunken road style of jump. From memory (but could be faulty), bounce (??) into the sunken road over a skinny log, one stride, bounce out (or 1 stride) over element C, another skinny log with element C slightly off set I think - very, very tough jump, a testing combination. My point, XC - we can do it, the tough questions are asked here at our events.

Wow! what a fantastic range of comments! I guess all of the above shows why the selectors have such a hard time making that choice - I dont envy them that job! Having reported on eventing in both the UK and Australia, I would suggest the quality of competition at the upper levels (3*/4*) has more depth in the UK and creates a more intensely competitive atmosphere which is useful prep for the Olympics pressure. However the courses appear to have similar levels of technical questions in both countries so its difficult to say its easier to win in Aus because you've still got to leave all the fences up and go clear XC. Plus throw into the mix that London is going to be more of a 3* level course and the obsevations many teams have made about the XC being suited to a more manouvrable horse to cope with the twists and undulations and I dont know how you really predict which horses will excel unless you have inside knowledge about temperament, trainability etc. Look forward to seeing how it all unfolds....

Katee - appreciate your comments about horse temperament, train ability etc as many factors make up a partnership.But, at the risk of repeating myself, consistent (clear XC) results over the last, say 2 years, surely can hopefully give us a guide as to those combinations that consistently finish and have a good chance of completing the XC.
Results of some of those selected are not good with one overseas combination having withdrawn on XC three times this year.

Michelle Hasibar has it exactly right. Why on earth wouldn't scores from the Olympic judges be compared more closely between the riders not worrying about scores from judges not at the games! I think Michelle should be a selector at least she looks at it all logically and strategically!!

Does this mean we should then disregard any Australian rider who has not been judged by one of these judges? The field of competition seems more important to me. If you can prove that you are up there with the best in the world, surely this is a better indication as to whether you will be competitive whilst up against them at the Olympics......

How does the Number 1 horse only get selected as a reserve? And it's not like he has only just scraped it in - he's in front by about 70 points. Surely, this is solid evidence of Megan and Allofasudden's consistent performances, and perhaps more deserving of a spot on the team than some that are there.

Here's hoping that the selectors haven't put all their eggs in the one basket, and those selected will actually pull off complete and/or clear rounds in xc and sj.

While there are a lot of statistics regarding Rutherglen and Andrew Hoy, two pretty important ones would be 17th at Kentucky and 6th at Luhmuhlen. This forum seems to be seriously biased towards Australian based riders. While the top five Australian based combinations would easily transition in to the top level of European competition, the European results have to be prettily heavily weighted due to the depth of the fields. Clearly the last events on the selection time frame were taken into account with Lucinda, Andrew and Tim Boland's elevation to the squad. Therefore the principle was applied equally to both hemispheres. Whether or not they got the selections right is of course a matter for debate. But no offense the team was looking super consistent up until the selection shocks with out much razzle dazzle. I think the selectors should be congratulated for taking risks.

Re: Christopher Burton and Leilani. Chris and Clayton were the first two Australian riders picked based on excellent seasons in Europe.

Re Emma Mason: Only one rider on this squad has never had an overseas preparation: Tim Boland, a reserve. It makes sense given the depth available to take experienced combinations in terms of travelling and European competition. The Australian standard of competition may be high but the level of pressure and number of spectators is not comparable.

Also given the games is in England, would you not aim to take a team at home in the conditions??? Shane has been for my money the only Australian rider truly deserving of selection this time round and I think that Paul Tapner, Sam Griffiths and Bill Levett are the ones who should be truly feeling the rub over non-selection.

Tim Boland has actually competed quite extensively in England.

The conditions at Greenwich are twisty and tight, more similar to Adelaide than the typical English/European event.

"The principle was applied equally in both hemispheres" - Not sure I understand this, as on one hand you are saying European events have to be weighted due to the depth of the fields yet Tim won at Melbourne with none of the Shadow Team competing??

The highest placed Australian at the last 4 Olympics has been Australian based... yet this perception that we are not good enough out here and our events are not good enough still persists. I do despair for our sport in Australia when it is viewed so poorly by officials and supporters alike.

Sorry I don't think I made myself clear. I was talking about the last event of selection being taken into account. For the record I don't agree with Tim Boland's elevation. I think a case can be made for both Hoy and Lucinda. I however would not have selected them based upon the performances of the last few months. Whether or not I would replace them with Australian based riders is another matter entirely.

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