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NEWS > High Performance
Posted by Kirsty Pasto on 26/04/2021.

Equestrian Australia High Performance Weekly Update – 26th April 2021

As we approach the final stretch on the journey towards the postponed Games our riders remain focussed on the road ahead as competition continues to ramp up around the world.

The prestigious Land Rover Kentucky 3 Day Event took place this past weekend in the United States, where four Australian combinations contested the CCI5*-L competition. The event was the first CCI5*-L to run in 2021, and is one of only six CCI5*-L events scheduled to take place globally this year. Notably, High Performance Green Squad rider Kevin McNab, aboard Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam, finished the event in 6th place from a competitive field of 63 of the world’s leading combinations. Also, High Performance NEXT Squad rider Ema Klugman and her horse Bendigo made their CCI5*-L debut at the event and put in an impressive performance to finish as the highest placed youngest rider of the event. Overall the competition presented incredibly tough conditions for all riders including an unexpected downpour of snow on the opening day of the event and one of the toughest and most technical tracks ever seen at Kentucky. The strong performances delivered by our riders at the event this year under extraordinarily demanding conditions shows resolve and resilience, and confirms our confidence as we look forward to Tokyo 2020 and the World Equestrian Games 2022.     

Also over the weekend Olympian Kristy Oatley and Du Soleil claimed victory in both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special classes in Poland at the CDI3* competition Zakrzów. This was the first international competition for the combination since the onset of Covid-19 and the impressive performances delivered by the pair throughout the show is a further demonstration of how our riders have remained focused on their Tokyo 2020 preparations over the past twelve months, despite the disruption of the global pandemic. 

Last week we hosted a follow up virtual ‘Covid-19 Strategy’ meeting for our identified Para-dressage athletes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The virtual meeting followed on from previous sessions and focused on ensuring our athletes are prepared, supported and well informed leading into the selection period. The meeting also provided an opportunity for the athletes to ask any questions they had surrounding their preparation for the postponed Games. The virtual nature of the meeting allowed our riders to attend from around the globe and gave each athlete the opportunity to interact with High Performance staff, the National Para-dressage Coach, and their fellow riders. We were also able to update the athletes on our logistical planning and the protocols that will be in place at the Games to ensure the health and safety of our athletes, horses and support teams. 

We continue to develop and revise our logistical and operational plans for Tokyo 2020 as new information becomes available, and we eagerly await the publication of the updated ‘Playbooks’ as we near the final stages of our preparation. We also remain in open communication with the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia regarding the availability of vaccinations for our athletes, as well as other Covid-19 guidelines and procedures.

As always the health and safety of our people and horses remain our priority as we work together as a high-performance community to navigate these unprecedented times.


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