Phillip Graham, Jenny Champion and Amanda McConachy have been named in the 2018 Endurance High Performance Squad.
Each has made the move up to the elite squad on the back of results over the last 12 months. Sue Reid, ESNZ high performance endurance manager says the combinations have shown they are capable of a strong performance at a pinnacle event.
The selectors were specifically looking for experienced riders who had completed at least five 160km rides, with horses who had three 160km completions and solid performances from the combination.
Graham, a Canterbury sheep farmer, has previously represented New Zealand at a World Equestrian Championships as well as international competition in Australia. His horse Rosewood Bashir is a 14-year-old bay Arab gelding who was bred by Helen Chambers.
He is generally well-performed at CEI3* 160 level, having finished in the top seven of six starts, including victory at Springfield last year.
Champion (Masterton) has a solid partnership with Barack Obama, who is owned by Mark Round. The 19-year-old black gelding has won two CEI3* 160s and most recently was third at Taupo. The New Zealand bred anglo Arab was is by Sharabi, out of Sunshine.
Painter and decorator McConachy (Raetihi) and 14-year-old Makahiwi Geneca have been together since 2009. They’ve had four CEI3* 160 completions to date.
Also named today is HP Futures squad member Alison Higgins (Motueka) aboard MF Bab Al Shams.
ESNZ high performance director Sarah Dalziell-Clout says there are a number of combinations knocking on the door of both squads.
“Selectors are looking forward to seeing them step up over the next few competitions,” she said. To make the WEG team, a combination must first be on the High Performance Squad, as well as meeting a number of other criteria.
“Now it is about making sure they have the best possible support and run up to our WEG selection,” said HP Manager, Sue Reid.
Reid has already visited Tryon, in North Carolina, where the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games will be held, and is buoyed by what she has seen.
The squads are:
- Phillip Graham (Oxford) Rosewood Bashir owned by Phillip Graham
- Jenny Champion (Masterton) Barack Obama owned by Mark Round
- Amanda McConachy (Raetihi) Makahiwi Geneca owned by Amanda McConachy
High Performance Futures
- Alison Higgins (Motueka) MF Bab Al Shams owned by Alison Higgins
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison