Australia’s Olympic Eventing Team …Who’s in??? - Karens Column
Australia’s Olympic Eventing Team …Who’s in???
With the Olympics upon us, it won’t be long until all eyes are glued to the TV, hoping our Australian riders can bring home Olympic medals in equestrian events. With not long to go, it surprised me that even on the official Olympic website our Aussie Eventing team has not been formally announced. An appeal process is underway, so at this stage we have a qualified team of 5 ‘contenders’ but there places are still not assured.
So who are our nominated Eventing contenders? I’ll give you a quick rundown:
Shane Rose and Tairus:
“Congratulations to Shane Rose & Taurus - 4 wins from 4 starts in 2012! Maybe London will make 5 from 5!”writes the Riverina Chronicle… “Shane Rose from Werombi NSW, led the competition after an expressive and powerful dressage test on warmblood Taurus that scored 72.93%. At just 9 years of age, Taurus is considered young in elite Eventing, but his record so far in 2012, 3 major wins including the Trans Tasman Title in New Zealand, shows that he is more than ready.”
Andrew Hoy and Rutherglen:
“Andrew Hoy (OAM) was nominated after placing sixth in a qualifying event in Germany when he was riding nine-year-old gelding Rutherglen - who is expected to join him in London.” Andrew Hoy OAM is again set to represent Australia in the Olympics …An equestrian veteran and three time medallist; it will be Hoy’s seventh time representing Australia in the equestrian eventing team.” Rutherglen is named after the town near Albury where Andrew grew up and went to PC J At this, his record breaking 7th Olympics, the cheer will no doubt go up again, “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Hoy, Hoy, Hoy!”
Clayton Fredericks and Bendigo (left) Lucinda and Flying Finish (right):
“Clayton and Lucinda Fredericks are the first, and likely to be the only married couple, to be nominated for the same eventing team for London. This will be the second time they have both represented their country together and they are hoping to improve on their last team win of Silver in Beijing in 2008.”3 Lucinda was a late selection with fantastic results at Luhmulen recently with Flying Finish and is ecstatic be nominated for the team. Born English, Lucinda changed her nationality to Australian in 2002 after marrying Clayton. Clayton who will be riding Bendigo after taking 1st and 2nd place in a recent Dutch competition, and is training hard to bring home gold for Australia.
Christopher Burton and Holstein Park Leilani:
Chris Burton, from the Darling Downs in Queensland, is Australia’s only debut Olympian. Chris has represented Australia at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010, but this is his first nomination to the Australian Olympic team. Burton and his horse, Holstein Park Leilani, a 17hh mare, are currently competing in the United Kingdom and are hoping they will remain on the list for the games of the 30th Olympiad.
What a great wealth of talent, experience and hard work these riders have between them! I know all Australians wish them well, it’s just a shame the appeal process has slowed the final and definite announcement of the team. Surely they need to know, get focused and start acclimatizing horses.
Qualifying for an Olympic equestrian team is difficult beyond belief! Just one of our ‘Australian Nomination criteria’ forms has over 30 pages of dot point rules and regulations that must be followed4. And did you notice how just from the five riders above they were selected from their varied performances in Australia, France, New Zealand, Poland, Germany, Kentucky and England? Qualifying for the Olympics is not easy!
As a nurse and chaplain, I often get to talk with people who are facing some huge challenges in their life. Some are even staring death in the face and preparing for eternity. You know the near impossibility of qualifying for the Olympics stands in absolute contrast to the simplicity of qualifying for heaven. Did you know that the Bible does NOT say to qualify for heaven you have to be good? It’s probably the most common misunderstanding about faith. On the last page of the good book, Jesus says this simple statement about qualifying for heaven, “Whoever wants me, can come”. It’s pretty simple isn’t it... God wants you, Jesus loves you, but He asks the question: do you want Him? That’s his qualification criteria. It’s straightforward and it’s offered to everyone. Who’s in?
Well, stay tuned to the tele this month. Olympic equestrian is out of this world to watch! Join with me and many other pony clubbers as we cheer the Aussies on… “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Hoy, Hoy, Hoy!!!”
Wishing us faith, love, and a few equestrian medals for Oz,