Australian Olympic eventing team named following appeal

  • Australia has announced its eventing team for the Rio Olympics, as an appeal over the selection has apparently been concluded.

    UK-based Sam Griffiths (Paulank Brockagh, pictured) and Chris Burton (Santano II), and Australia-based Shane Rose (CP Qualified) and Stuart Tinney (Pluto Mio) are to fly the Australian flag at the Games.

    The team selection had been subject to the outcome of an appeal, and Equestrian Australia (EA) told H&H last week (8 July) that the final four would be announced “at the conclusion of the appeals process”.

    But the organisation said today: “At this time no further details of the appeal are being made public.”

    Sam, who had a fall cross-country at London 2012, having been selected as reserve and called up “at the last minute”, was delighted to have another chance at a medal.

    I am obviously thrilled to be able to represent Australia at the Olympics for a second Games,” he said. “It is a huge honour – it is, without doubt, the pinnacle of our sport and I am over the moon to be in the team.

    “I felt that I was a bit unlucky at London, but this time I will be very well prepared and determined to go well.

    “I have very high expectations… I think the team itself is incredibly competitive and I can’t wait to get out there and get the job done.”

    “We have a very strong team, with a lot of depth and a proud history of doing well at an Olympics. Each team member has proven themselves at championship level and we are all on exciting horses that could give any nation a decent run for their money.

    As a group we will feel very disappointed if we don’t get on the podium.”

    Shane, who was on the silver medal-winning team in Beijing 2008, will be heading for his fourth Games, although he had to withdraw from the 1996 and 2012 Olympics owing to horse injuries.

    “Setbacks happen, you need to learn from the mistakes. I feel like I’ve done that,” he said.

    “I want to win a gold medal. I want to be the best in the world.

    “We need to be at our best from start to finish. It’s the Olympic Games, everyone is primed for it.

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    “The best riders from around the world will be there so we need to be on top form to win that medal.”

    EA has not yet named its travelling reserve, who will be chosen “on or before 26 July” from the following unranked list.

    • Samantha Birch and Hunter Valley II
    • Chris Burton and Nobilis 18
    • Sonja Johnson and Illicit Liaison
    • William Levett and Alexander NJ or Improvise
    • Shane Rose and Virgil
    • Paul Tapner and Prince Mayo
    • Stuart Tinney and Carlchen.

    Of the reserves, Samantha and Hunter Valley, Chris and Nobilis 18 and Sonja and Illicit Liaison are all in the Australian Nations Cup team for Aachen this weekend.

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