Australia’s Often Changed World Games Selection System Ended Early, Home-Based Riders Dominate Likely Team

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Shannan Goodwin and Aristede.

July 9, 2018


A much-promoted policy aimed at assuring Australian-based riders more chances to be on the team for the World Equestrian Games in two months but numerous changes made by the national federation impacting European-based competitors has led to an early end to selection procedures. Home-based riders dominate the standings from which the team will be chosen.

The latest “amendment” to selection procedures was announced Monday by Equestrian Australia that blamed the Falsterbo Horse Show in Sweden for not accepting entries for European-based riders for the CDIO5* Nations Cup and CDI3* this week, the final selection event for prospects for the Australian team that can have a maximum of four horses and riders. Many nations also send a reserve to major championships.

The announcement did not disclose that Australia had not been invited to the event. The International Equestrian Federation (FEI)-approved schedule lists Austria, Denmark, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden and the United States as invited, with Finland a reserve. Entries are made by national federations, not individual riders.

The Denmark-based Simone Pearce on Wladimir O.A., Germany-based Briana Burgess on Sissi and Mary Hanna on Boogie Woogie, Australian-based but in Europe seeking to qualify, may have lost their last chance to go to the world championships in Tryon, North Carolina opening Sept. 11.

The WEG is the showcase event of international horse sports and staged only once every four years, midway between Olympic Games cycles.

European-based riders were given a choice of four competitions over two months–plus Falsterbo as a late addition to make a total of five–to earn qualifying results.

Three events were set in Australia and one in the United States.

The complete announcement by Equestrian Australia:

“Due to unforeseen circumstances with one of the designated Nominated Events as outlined in the World Equestrian Games (WEG) 2018 Dressage Selection Policy, the High Performance Panel in consultation with the Dressage Selection Panel had to amend the Policy.

“This amendment came about following the sudden notification (after definite entries closed) from the Organizing Committee of Falsterbo CDIO5* that the Australian riders nominated were no longer accepted. Falsterbo was listed as the final Nominated Event in the WEG 2018 Selection Policy and due to the late notice and the unavailability of any suitable replacement CDI events in an appropriate time frame, the decision was made to amend the Policy and notify affected riders.

“Unfortunately, the acceptance of our teams at any competition is up to the relevant Organizing Committee, and can be problematic at events outside Australia, particularly when many countries are seeking to qualify their riders for selection in the period before international games. To be eligible, combinations must still have achieved 69% or more at two events meeting specified criteria, and have demonstrated recent form at one (previously two) or more Nominated Events.

“We are fortunate to have a strong group of competitors who, with the support of their connections, have made themselves available for selection.”

The federation did not announce the team, but combinations to have earned a qualifying score of 69 per cent in the Grand Prix at one of the final list of nominated events are:

Shannan Goodwin, 32 years old, and Aristede, 13-year-old Warmblood gelding
CDI-W Werribee, Australia Mar. 22, 2018 – Grand Prix 70.500%

Alexis Hellyer, 29, and Bluefields Floreno, 13-year-old Warmblood stallion
CDI3* Boneo, Australia June 14-16 – Grand Prix 70.478%

Brett Parbery, 46, and DP Weltmieser, 15-year-old Warmblood gelding
CDI3* Boneo, Australia June 14-16 – Grand Prix 70.435%

Judy Dierks, 64, and Diamond Star, 12-year-old Bavarian gelding
CDI3* Boneo, Australia June 14-16 – Grand Prix 69.348%

Kristy Oatley, 39, and Du Soleil, 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding
CDI4* Wiesbaden, Germany May 20, 2018 – Grand Prix 69.000%

All are Australian-based except for Kristy Oatley.