Rider selected for eighth Olympics, plus horse injury plays a part in team selection

  • Andrew Hoy is set to extend his own record for Olympic appearances, having been selected for the Tokyo Games this summer.

    The 62-year-old rider was the only Australian to have competed at seven Olympics after he rode at London 2012 and he has now been chosen for the team for Tokyo, with the reliable Vassily De Lassos.

    Andrew said he is looking forward to representing Australia at his first Olympic Games since becoming a father to daughter Philippa, three, and one-year-old son Oscar, as well as riding a horse he believes may be one of the best of his career.

    “To represent Australia at international level over so many years has been the greatest privilege and honour of my life,” he said. “I have never set out to break records on my number of Olympic Games participations – I am just a country boy from Culcairn, who loves his horses, has a huge passion for our sport and thrives on being competitive at the top end.

    “I have been fortunate to have had wonderful support from so many people over the years, as you can never do this alone. It is a huge team effort and I am so grateful for everyone’s support.

    “There is nothing that beats the feeling of wearing the green and gold and being part of a team of incredible athletes – going on to the biggest sporting stage in the world – and all wanting to make Australia proud. In Vassily De Lassos, owned by David and Paula Evans, I have got one of the best horses I have had in my whole career – so let’s hope the best is yet to come.”

    The full Australian Olympic eventing team for the Tokyo eventing is:

    • Chris Burton on Claire Poole’s Quality Purdey (groom Coriander Cousins)
    • Andrew Hoy on David and Paula Evans’ Vassily De Lassos (groom Clémentine Giradeau)
    • Shane Rose on his own, his wife Niki and Michelle Hasibar’s Virgil (groom Rachel Watts)

    The alternate rider is:

    • Stuart Tinney on his own and his wife Karen’s Leporis (groom Karen Tinney)

    Article continues below…

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    Stuart had been considered a favourite for the team with Elisabeth Brinton’s Celebration, but announced this week that an “unforeseen paddock injury” had ruled the horse out.

    Stuart said this was “unimaginable news” in a “very tough few days” for him and the owners.

    “‘Charlie’ has an amazing future, he is still young, so we consider this only to be a minor timing setback and we are looking forward to his return immensely,” he said, adding that he looks forward to supporting the team in his role as alternate and wishes them luck.

    As is traditional, the Australian Olympic eventing team mixes riders based in Britain (Andrew and Chris) with those based Down Under (Shane and Stuart).

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