Olympic medal-winning eventer helps his country qualify for Paris 2024 showjumping

  • Olympic medal-winning eventer Chris Burton has helped the Australian showjumping team qualify for Paris 2024.

    Chris and the 11-year-old mare Chedington Hazy Toulana, were joined by teammates Hilary Scott and Oaks Milky Way, Edwina Tops-Alexander and Fellow Castlefield and Lauren Balcomb and Verdini d’Houtveld Z in the Group G Olympic qualifier yesterday (18 July) at Valkenswaard, the Netherlands.

    UK-based Chris, who won eventing team bronze on Santano II at the 2016 Rio Games – the same year he won Burghley on Nobilis 18 – switched to showjumping last year with hopes of securing a place at the Paris Games.

    Team Australia took an early lead with seven faults in the first round, while the Japanese team (Eiken Sato and Cacanno Jra, Yuko Itakura and Stakkatisa PS, Mike Kawai and Goldwin, and Taizo Sugitani and Quincy) were one fault behind them. New Zealand (Daniel Meech and Donkon d’Asschaut, Phillip Steiner and Cassina Dior, Richard Gardner and Calisto, and Tom Tarver-Preibe and Fiber Fresh Popeye) and China (Xingjia Zhang and Cevrin du Banney Z, Yuchen Chen and Gaga E d’Augustijn, Ella Yunjing Wang and Hoselinde, and Yaofeng Li and Jericho Dwerse Hagen) had 24 and 34 faults respectively in the opening round.

    Team Australia has qualified for the Paris 2024 showjumping

    In the second round all four teams added to their fault tally, but the Australians maintained their lead, followed by the Japanese, who took the second qualifying place for the Paris 2024 showjumping.

    Chris said he was proud of “superstar” mare Chedington Hazy Toulana, who “had a big job”.

    “She showed us what she is made of, helping the Australian showjumping team secure Paris Olympic qualification,” he said.

    “A huge thanks to Chedington Equestrian for the chance to ride such a champion. Well done to the team who took the convincing win.”

    Australia’s chef d’equipe Todd Hinde, who is stepping down as high performance jumping manager for Equestrian Australia following his appointment as the new FEI jumping director, was thrilled with the team.

    “We presented seven horses at the trot-up and we could have had any four of them compete. I was confident the four we chose would go out there and produce the result,” he said.

    Australia and Japan will be joined in the Paris 2024 showjumping by hosts France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. There are still nine team places available; the next two are up for grabs at the Group C qualifying event in Prague on 30 July.

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