Equestrian Australia will send three non-competing athletes and two team veterinarians to the World Equestrian Games test event in Kentucky 20-25 April with additional funding provided by the Australian Sports Commission.
The athletes selected to attend the test event are members of the National Elite Eventing Squad; 2000 Olympic Gold Medallist Stuart Tinney, 2008 Olympic Silver Medallist Megan Jones and UK-based Sam Griffiths. The Australian Equestrian Team Veterinarians to attend will be Dr. Denis Goulding and UK-based Dr. Graham Potts. Also travelling to the event will be National Eventing Coach Wayne Roycroft and Chef de Mission Brett Mace who will attend a Chef de Missions meeting held in conjunction with the event.
Unlike a number of the Elite Eventing Squad riders, Tinney, Jones and Griffiths have never been to the Lexington venue. They will benefit greatly from the ability to familiarise with the famous Horse Park ahead of the World Equestrian Games which commence on 25 September.
“This is a wonderful opportunity,” said Stuart Tinney, “I really want to see the terrain - I have seen the event on video but I don’t have a feel for it. The terrain dictates the level of fitness required and the type of fitness training you will do in your preparation. It will be great to see the footing on the Cross-Country course as well as the Dressage and Jumping arenas. Although the course will change I am interested to see the fences and how they fit in to the landscape. It is really helpful to be familiar with the layout of the venue and the logistics of the event. When you arrive at a competition grounds for the first time it can take a few days to get your head around where everything is. It makes it so much easier if you have been there before. I am really looking forward to it.”
“Equestrian Australia has been fortunate once again to receive this additional funding for international travel,” commented Brett Mace Equestrian Australia High Performance Manager. “The cost of competing overseas for Equestrian athletes is extremely high and any additional support is greatly appreciated. Taking the riders and vets to this event would not have been possible without the support of the Australian Sports Commission.”