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Burton has his eyes on London after winning at Saumur
Australia's Chris Burton has ended his Saumur CCI3* campaign the best possible way, finishing the weekend in first and second positions.
The 31 year old, who made his debut for Australia at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, is now setting his sights on an Olympic Games berth as part of the five member Australian Eventing Team.
“Winning here in front of the national selectors has given me a better chance to be part of the team for the Olympic Games,” said Burton
“My horses were in form today and had really recovered well. All this rain was really good and the going was perfect. I was delighted with the performance of Haruzac, he is the least experienced of the two but he is really full of promise,” he added.
It was Burton’s less experienced horse Haruzac who was the eventual winner with Holstein Park Leilani, the mare that he competed with at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, which finished the runner-up.
On the final day of competition, Burton and Haruzac were the only Australian combination to jump clear however the pair was slower around the course and added a time fault to their final score.
Prior to the commencement of the Jumping phase Burton and Haruzac, who were placed second after cross country, were relegated to third position after Kiwi rider Andrew Nicholson’s cross country time was adjusted. Nicholson and Viscount George were held up on course after Aussie Clayton Fredericks suffered a fall and overnight
Nicolson’s time was recalculated moving him into second position. The New Zealand combination ended the weekend in third place.
Fredericks a Beijing silver medallist and two time winner of Saumur suffered a stomach injury when he fell from Be My Guest and remains in an Angers hospital for examination.
“I am absolutely fine (but) feeling frustrated to be laying here in hospital. It is just cautionary as it appeared Lottie (Be My Guest) stepped right on my stomach. (I’ll) be scanned in a few days and hopefully on my way and back to London preparations,” Fredericks said on his website yesterday.
Australian combinations finished Saumur CCI3* as follows:
1st Chris Burton and Haruzac
2nd Chris Burton and Holstein Park Leilani
5th Bill Levett and One To Many NJ
6th Bill Levett and Hippolyte
13th Paul Tapner and Kilronan
14th Paul Tapner and Wickstead Didgeridoo
20 May 2012
Chris Burton leading Saumur CCI3* after Cross Country
Chris Burton is leading the Australian charge on Saumur CCI3* and occupies positions one and two on the leaderboard after Cross Country.
Heavy and consistent rain made the course even more challenging and yesterday’s top placed Aussie, Clayton Fredericks, was unable to continue in the competition after he was taken to hospital for examination after falling from Be My Guest at the 15th fence.
“He’s well and relaxing in the Angers hospital. He feels fine, a little pain but needs a few quiet days and will be scanned again before he comes home,” Clayton’s wife Lucinda wrote on the Team Fredericks website a short time ago.
Earlier, Burton and Haruzac were the first Australian combination round the course and they secured second position overall after completing it in a time of 9:28. Burton returned to the course a short while later on Holstein Park Leilani and went round it in 9:26 which put the pair in top spot at the end of the day.
Burton and Leilani’s time was the quickest around the course but the wet conditions naturally slowed the pace and saw every combination incur time penalties. Burton and Leilani now have a one rail lead heading into tomorrow’s Jumping phase.
Bill Levett heads into tomorrow’s final bout in fourth place on One To Many NJ (54.00) and fifth place on Hippolyte (58.80). Paul Tapner is close by in sixth position with Kilronan (61.20) and 11th position with Wickstead Didgeridoo (69.00).
Australian combinations are currently occupying the following positions:
1st Chris Burton and Holstein Park Leilani (49.80)
2nd Chris Burton and Haruzac (52.80)
4th Bill Levett and One To Many NJ (54.00)
5th Bill Levett and Hippolyte (58.80)
6th Paul Tapner and Kilronan (61.20)
11th Paul Tapner and Wickstead Didgeridoo (69.00)
With national selectors onsite, tomorrow’s Jumping phase with be one of the final opportunities for Australia’s overseas based Eventers to show selectors their form ahead of team selection for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
19 May 2012
Four Australian combinations are in the top ten after Dressage phase at Saumur CCI3*
Dressage results from Saumur CCI3* are in and leading the Australian assault after the first phase of competition is Clayton Fredericks and Walterstown Don.
The combination scored 44.20 and will enter the cross country phase in third position.
The next best placed Aussie rider is Chris Burton who partnered on the second day of Dressage competition with Holstein Park Leilani to score 45.00 and finish the first phase in fourth position. Burton is the only Australian rider to have two horses in the top ten. His day one result with Hazurac (47.20) has him sharing tenth position.
Australian combinations are currently occupying the following positions:
3rd Clayton Fredericks and Walterstown Don (44.20)
4th Chris Burton and Holstein Park Leilani 3rd (45.00)
8th Bill Levett and One To Many NJ (46.00)
10th Chris Burton and Haruzac (47.20)
14th Paul Tapner and Kilronan (48.40)
16th Bill Levett and Hippolyte (49.20)
22nd Clayton Fredericks and Be My Guest (51.60)
28th Paul Tapner and Wickstead Didgeridoo (55.40)
British combination Laura Collett and Rayef (38.00) lead the 52 strong field with Tiana Coudray and Ringwood Magister (41.40) from the USA the second best placed combination heading into day two.
Tomorrow riders will turn their attention to the challenging cross country course. Watch the event at http://www.saumur.org/cci/streaming-2012.html
17 May 2012
Aussies occupy positions one and three after first day of Dressage at Saumur CCI3*
Three Australian combinations were in action on the opening day of Saumur CCI3*
Chris Burton and Haruzac scored 47.20 and are at the top of the table sitting just in front of Italian combination Giovanni Ugolotti and Stormhill Kossack (47.20).
Of the other Australian combinations that competed on day one, Bill Levett and Hippolyte are in third position (49.20) and Clayton Fredericks and Be My Guest are seventh (51.60).
The 52 strong field will complete their dressage tests over two days with 31 participants left to compete the opening phase tomorrow.
Australian combinations starting on day two of Dressage:
Paul Tapner and Wickstead Didgeridoo
Chris Burton and Holstein Park Leilani
Bill Levett and One To Many NJ
Clayton Fredericks and Walterstown Don
16 May 2012
Olympic Selection for Aussie Eventers moves to Saumur
Four Australian riders who were due to compete at the Badminton Horse Trials will start at this weekend’s Saumur CCI3* (FRA) in a bid to impress selectors ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games team selection.
After the cancellation of Badminton, Australia’s overseas based eventers had to revise their plans ahead of selection, with Saumur CCI3* offering a good opportunity ahead of team selection in mid-June.
With just five spots to fill selectors will have a tough task choosing from the depth of Eventing talent both overseas and back in Australia.
“All of our riders who are competing at Saumur are on the Olympic Shadow Squad so there will be solid competition amongst our riders. Selection is still wide open at this stage so they really need to put in a good performance,” said National Performance Director for Eventing, Prue Barrett.
“I’m hoping to see our guys clean up this weekend. We have eight combinations in action and they’re all showing really solid form so we should see some good results,” she added.
Beijing Silver Medallist Clayton Fredericks is a two time winner of the event and returns to Saumur to defend the 2011 title which he won with Bendigo. This year he’ll compete with Walterstown Don and the Be My Guest. Walterstown Down comes into the event in good form having taken third place at Jardy CIC3* two weeks earlier.
Fredericks’ compatriots are certain to be his toughest competition. Also showing form is Bill Levett who finished second at Jardy with One to Many NJ. The combination was also second behind Fredericks and Bendigo at Saumur last year.
“A lot of Australians are going to be at Saumur and there are a lot of very good combinations that are in good form so we’ll have to do a good job and have a bit of luck,” said Levett. “The nice thing for me is that I’ve got two very nice horses, they’re good jumpers, good on the flat and good at cross country so I’ve got a chance, I’ve just go to stay positive.”
Australian riders have fared well at Saumur, in addition to Fredericks being a two time winner, past champions also include Sam Griffiths (2008 Happy Times) and David Green (2001 Faerie Dazzler; 1995 Chatsby; 1988 Shannag).
Australians competing at Saumur CCI3* are:
Chris Burton – Holstein Park Leilani and Haruzac
Clayton Fredericks – Be My Guest and Walterstown Don
Bill Levett – One to Many NJ and Hippolyte
Paul Tapner – Wickstead Didgeridoo and Kilronan
Paul Tapner was also looking to compete also with Innonothing at Saumur but due to a minor injury will now look towards to either Tattersalls CCI3* (IRL) end May or Luhmuhlen CCI4* (GER) in mid-June. Lucinda Fredericks has opted to take Flying Finish to Luhmuhlen CCI4* (GER) and therefore will not start this weekend.
EA will provide timely updates throughout the weekend. For further event information visit http://www.saumur.org/cci/accueil-gb.html