The countdown is on for the Tokyo Olympic Games with long-listed New Zealand equestrians doing their best for a final push to impress selectors.

Eventing has 11 riders still in the picture with Tim and Jonelle Price – world ranked at number two and seven respectively – leading the way. Also on the long list is James Avery, Jesse Campbell, Madison Crowe, Matthew Grayling, Dan Jocelyn, Samantha Lissington, Bundy Philpott, Amanda Pottinger and Caroline Powell.

ESNZ will be putting forward its four nominated combinations to the New Zealand Olympic Committee on June 23.

There are a number of events in the pipeline, including Houghton Hall (May 28-30), Millstreet in Ireland (June 3-6), Bicton International Horse Trials (June 10-13), Melbourne International Three Day (10-14 June) and Luhmuhlen (June 16-20) but true to the current COVID times, nothing is a definite until it happens.

In jumping, Bruce Goodin, Daniel Meech, Uma O’Neill, Tom Tarver, Richard Gardner, Sharn Wordley and Brooke Edgecombe remain on the long list. The nominated combinations will be submitted to the NZOC on June 14.

Coming up are a CSIO5* in Rome for Bruce, a CSI3* in Lexington for Sharn and CSI2* events in Munich and Kronenberg for Daniel and Richard. The final selection event for the jumpers is a CSI4* at Poznan, June 2-6 where Bruce, Daniel, Richard and Tom are all entered. Across the Atlantic, The final event for US-based riders is Upperville CSI4* (June 11-13) where Uma and Sharn will compete.

ESNZ high performance general manager Jock Paget says it has been an interesting preparation for the whole team and something everyone continues to learn from. “We are grateful for the group of riders we have to choose from,” he says. “Here’s hoping we can arrive at the final selection date with the same numbers. We are a small nation, and what we may lack in numbers, we certainly make up for in quality which is very heartening to see.”

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison