Equestrian: Last chance for Olympic hopefuls

Mark Todd (pictured), will be hoping he has already done enough to make the five-strong Olympic team but a strong showing this weekend can cement a place. Photo / Getty Images.
Mark Todd (pictured), will be hoping he has already done enough to make the five-strong Olympic team but a strong showing this weekend can cement a place. Photo / Getty Images.

This weekend's Barbury Castle international horse trials in the UK are the last chance for any would-be Olympians to impress the New Zealand eventing selectors.

As many as 12 New Zealand combinations have entered, including Mark Todd, Clarke Johnstone, Andrew Nicholson, Jonathan Paget and Lucy Jackson, who will be hoping they've already done enough to make the five-strong Olympic team but a strong showing this weekend can cement a place.

Johnstone has his 2010 world championships mount Orient Express while Todd rides his preferred Olympic mount NZB Campino. Paget competes on Clifton Lush and Nicholson has Quimbo and Avebury while Jackson has Kilcoltrim Ambassador and Animator II.

Joining them are fellow Kiwis Alice Montgomery aboard Gordon, Craig Nicoli on Just Ironic, Bruce Haskell on Kiwi Smog, Jesse Campbell on Kaapachino and Debbie Mitchell on Waimak.

A victory by a New Zealander would create history - no Kiwi rider has ever won the main class at Barbury Castle - and the winner will pocket $8000.

Barbury Castle has a renowned cross country course, built for the inaugural event in 2005 by leading international course designer Captain Mark Phillips, who continues in that role this weekend.

The event starts on June 28 with the first of two days of dressage before the cross country and showjumping.

- APNZ

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