Badminton Horse Trials has been cancelled due to what the organisers have called, “totally waterlogged and partially flooded” grounds. This is the first time since 1987 that the prestigious event has been cancelled. Unlike 1987 though, 2012′s competition had an extra focus on it in the lead-up to the London Olympics with several combinations hoping to impress the selectors at the event.
Seven of Australia’s Olympic hopefuls were due to compete at Badminton this weekend, however, Equestrian Australia’s National Performance Director for Eventing, Prue Barrett said they have strong back up options available for the riders:
“We are working with all our overseas-based eventing riders to help them develop their individual programs ahead of team selection and the Olympic Games. There are many quality events throughout Europe including Saumur CCI3* (France), Tattersalls International Horse Trials CCI3* (Ireland), Bramham International Horse Trials CCI3* (Scotland), and Luhmuhlen (Germany) CCI4*, just to name a few.”
“We are working hard to secure starts for our riders at the events they wish to take part in. There are also other one-day events that riders may choose to take part in to test their horses’ fitness and compliment the three-day 3* events. A lot of our riders were already planning to take part in other events and our team management will be working with them to ensure their preparations as part of the selection process and in the lead up to the Games is as smooth as possible. While Badminton was a 4* event (the highest level of eventing competition) it is not deemed a ‘selection event’ for the Olympic Games. As outlined in the Australian Olympic Team Nomination Criteria, selectors “will primarily consider performances of horses and Athletes at all CCI*** and CCI**** events from 1 January 2011.”
Australia’s riders that were due to take part in Badminton included:
1. Paul Tapner and Innonothing
2. Clayton Fredericks and Dunges Laurent Rose and Be My Guest
3. Sam Griffiths and Happy Times
4. Bill Levett and One Two Many NJ and Hipplyte
5. Chris Burton and Holstein Park Leilani
6. Wendy Schaeffer and Koyuna Sun Dancer
7. Catherine Burrell and Urzan
On the Team Fredericks website last night it was announced that Clayton and his three top horses will be on their way to the CIC3* event at Jardy, France today. He also plans to compete at Saumur, with Be My Guest and Walterstown Don.
Let’s hope the remaining combinations find suitable events to contest selection in the coming months.