London 2012 Australian Eventing Team Nomination Update


There has been plenty of healthy debate recently around the Australian team selection process on our site.

Several of our readers have been asking about the selection process and dates for the appeals so we have been in touch with Equestrian Australia (EA) to find out a little more. We can’t advise who the appeal/s is/are by (we honestly don’t know and haven’t asked) but EA have confirmed the following;

  • The appeal will be held by independent tribunal headed up by an AOC appointed QC
  • Once the appeal is held we will know an outcome – however the team is then still to be officially selected by the AOC. Depending on outcomes of the appeals, decisions may not be released immediately
  • It will be the AOC who officially announces the team
  • They cannot give firm dates for the appeal at this stage as it is subject to when the appeal will be heard, if athletes take any further action and other considerations

Those of you who are interested in the selection process (and we get the feeling that there are quite a few out there from comments made on our web site, Facebook and Twitter pages), there is a document which outlines the 2012 Australian Team Nomination Criteria on the EA site which may answer some of your questions. If you feel the urge to read the nitty gritty in this document, click on the link at the bottom of this article.   

The document, put in place by the AOC and EA, provides nominations guidelines and details for all three disciplines (Eventing is in Part B) and covers some key dates such as the date of July 6th for the proposed departure of the Australian based eventing horses for the UK. EA says it is hoping to meet this date and is continuing preparations to try and ensure that any Australian horses in contention are ready to leave as required.

Although some dates late this week have been touted as possible for the appeal/s to be heard, as EA point out above, they really are not sure at this point when the actual appeal may be as it is outside of their control.

Another key date is July 9th which, according to the FEI website, is the deadline for the London 2012 Organising Committee to receive entry forms. So, one way or another, we will certainly know by then! If in the meantime you want to read some of the eventing community’s thoughts on the subject, you can read or contribute your comment to the discussion HERE.

Please note that we moderate all comments before publishing so your comment may take a few hours to appear. We believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion unless it is defamatory or just plain hurtful. We have been really pleased that we haven’t received any comments we felt should not be published, showing that people just really care about this sport and wish to contribute. It is important to remember that everyone involved in the selection process is human and trying to do their best; for the athletes this possibly represents the pinnacle of their career and something they have worked long and hard for, so please bear this mind.

Having said that, we know that eventing fans are passionate about their sport (which is a good thing) so let us know what you think!


2012 Australian Team Nomination Criteria (May 2012)




I think that Wendy Schaffear and Dancer should be given the chance to win another gold for the Australian Equestrian Team in London this year. I don't understand how an outstanding eventer can miss out on a chance of a nomination when other riders who have been nominated, while maybe they are better dressage performers, are not as good in the jumping phases. It has been years since Wendy and Sunburst rode for the team and I think she has proven that she is an elite performer and deserves the chance of a nomination.

Thank you for posting these updates and providing us with a forum where we can air our views. It is encouraging to read that you have been able to publish - rather than censor - all comments submitted regarding the team selection and the subsequent appeal, and I hope that "the powers that be" at EA, and the selectors, have popped in and had a read. Whilst this was always going to be a tough team to pick, the selection of a few combinations and the exclusion of another in particular has caused outrage from broad sections of the eventing community and they should know that. A lack of faith in EA and selectors will hopefully not be regarded as water off a duck's back.

Having had a read of the Australian Team Nomination Criteria (thank you for posting the link) it seems that they have worded this beautifully - ie, it allows for disretion and exemptions on the selectors' behalf and will most likely result in the appeal(s) going nowhere. What a dreadful shame.

If nothing else, hopefully this embarrassing situation (ie appeals in all 3 Olympic Equestrian disciplines) will lead to close scrutiny of the Team Nomination Criteria, and subsequent future reform, so that our elite athletes can in future plan their selection campaigns with full knowledge that they will be fairly and openly assessed. We owe our wonderful athletes - our heroes, equine and human - that right.

At Adelaide 3DE in 2011 Pharaneli was awarded the peppermint grove perpetual trophy for the best Australian based horse of 2011 as decided by the national selectors. BEST (eventing) horse of the year in Australia. Not sure what the criteria is for this award but I would think that you would need some fairly consistant outstanding performances to win the award - but still not selected.
Pharanelli placed 3rd at Adelaide, the margin being 3.9 penalties, very, very close. One rail in show jumping cost them 1st place.

Scores after dressage Adelaide: Shane 45.5, Megan, 53.5, Emma 48, Tim 49.20 - 2nd best score at the 4 star and horse of the year but still not picked for the team.

Of course we all want our riders, whoever they are, to do well at the Olympics & we have some very, very good combinations but also would like to think that we have put our best combinations forward for the job. I haven't read the Australian team nomination criteria but as, if you say, ultimately decisions are at the selectors discretion/exemptions can be (randomly) applied regardless of performance/competition indicators what hope have riders got if you can be dropped due to the discretionary powers of a selector no matter what your actual performances have been.

Ok ... I have tried to make sense of this document but maybe someone can help me interpret it?

Right at the beginning we have
(2) In order to be chosen by Equestrian Australia as a member of the Shadow Team each Athlete
must be a member of the 2012 National Elite or A Squad as selected by Equestrian Australia
and attached as Attachment 3.

There is no Attachment 3 but the squads are listed on the EA website

Followed by the Nomination of Athletes ....

(3) Only nominate Athletes who are, or are recognised by the AOC as, members of the Shadow

This seems fairly straight forward however I must be missing something as I cannot see Flying Finish listed on either the Elite Squad or the National A Squad ??? I assume someone has made a hasty correction with a HB pencil to fix this little boo-boo??

4 star placings over the 2011/2012 period comparing Pharanelli to oversease based horses.
Flying Finish - 2nd 2012 (Luhmuhlen)
Pharanelli - 3rd 2011 (Adelaide)
Bendigo - 6th 2011 (Pau)
Rutherglen - 6th 2012 (Luhmuhlen)
Leilani - 8th 2011 (Pau)
Rutherglen - 17th 2012 (Lexington)

Pharanelli has the 2nd best 4 star placing over the 2011/2012 period but not selected even to the reserve team? Theses are results from the British Eventng web site. Please feel free to double check these results and correct me if required as I think my eyes are starting to go blurry from looking at so many results.

If you look at the current FEI leaderboard Allofasudden is a clear leader. Pharinelli a close 3rd behind Taurus.
Interesting to see Rutherglen is ranked 117...

I have commented on this when the team was first announced, it seems everyone has different views, and it's great to see a web site which allows these views. Thank you Eventful life. I am glad the riders have chosen to lodge an appeal, and that people are seeing the unfairness of the selections. Hear hear for freedom of seach and lets show EA that they are obliged to make true and fair decisions based on current partner (horse and rider) perfomances and not just the credentials of riders, or their locaton in the world. I liken it to Black Caviar, we all knew she her to be a CHAMPION, but because us Aussies judge ourselves so harshly, as do the o/s competitors, we feel it must be done to compete on the world scale to prove our champions truly are just that. You don't see the USA sending ZENYATTA to another country to prove she was great! Champinos can be grown at home too! If only we'd give them a chance!