Equestrian Australia Announces 2016 Rio Olympic Squad

Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh at Badminton. Photo by Jenni Autry. Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh at Badminton. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Equestrian Australia has announced that the following four riders will comprise its team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro:

Chris Burton and Santano II, a 9-year-old Hannoverian gelding owned by Black Run Syndicate

Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare owned by Mr. and Mrs. S. Posford, Mrs. J. Carter and Sam Griffiths

Shane Rose and CP Qualified, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Shane Rose and Elizabeth Wischer

Stuart Tinney and Pluto Mio, an 18-year-old Hannoverian/Thoroughbred gelding owned by Elizabeth and John Pittard

The following combinations, listed in alphabetical order, will attend the pre-Games staging camp in the UK beginning July 24. On or before July 25 the Eventing Selection Panel will identify one of the pairs, possibly but not necessarily a team member’s second nominated horse, as the travelling reserve.

Samantha Birch and Hunter Valley II

Chris Burton and Nobilis 18

Sonja Johnson and Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison

William Levett and Alexander NJ

William Levett and Improvise

Shane Rose and Virgil

Paul Tapner and Prince Mayo

Stuart Tinney and Carlchen

Equestrian Australia has adopted a High Performance Squad system of categorizing riders and/or combinations identified as having the potential to represent the country at major championships like WEG and the Olympics. All four selected riders, plus Paul Tapner, were listed on Australia’s 2016 “gold” level squad and were expected to be frontrunners come time for team selection.

We are sorry to see U.S.-based Australian Ryan Wood, who appeared on the FEI Olympic Nominated Entry List with Powell, off the team as he’s been on absolute fire this year. Powell won the Jersey Fresh CCI3* in May and placed second in the CIC3* at Fair Hill the month before that, and his other two top horses — Woodstock Bennett, who is fresh off a Bromont CCI3* win, and Frankie, who swept the CIC3* division — would have been at home on the long list as well.

Ryan has been working diligently for years to produce the exciting upper-level string he going, and while the timing may not have been quite right this time around, he is certainly knocking at the door. Equestrian Australia would be remiss not to keep Ryan on their radar for future team championships.

[Eventing Team looking to get Australia back on the podium]