Experience heads the New Zealand eventing team for the FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games in Kentucky with Olympians Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson among the five riders chosen for the championships.

They are joined by fellow Olympian and recent Burghley Horse Trials winner Caroline Powell, as well as the up-and-coming Jonathan Paget and Clarke Johnstone.

New Zealand eventing squad

  • Andrew Nicholson riding Nereo (reserve horses: Mr Cruise Control, Avebury and Armada)
  • Mark Todd with NZB Grass Valley
  • Caroline Powell on Mac Macdonald
  • Jonathan Paget riding Clifton Promise
  • Clarke Johnstone with Orient Express

None of the horses in the team have competed at previous Olympic or World Equestrian Games, but chef d’equipe Erik Duvander believes that they are all contenders for the 2012 Olympics in London.

“These are all young horses, and have hardly hit their prime, so they are looking good for WEG and the London Olympics,” said Erik.

“This is an exciting team. The world champs are decided very much in the cross-country and showjumping phases, and that is where our strengths lie.

“Andrew is most definitely an individual medal chance, but with a team like this, you can never count anyone out.”