NZ equestrians keen for pre-Olympic hit-out
Thu, 05 Jul 2012 11:28a.m.
London Olympics equestrian team will be riding a narrow line as they contest
the high-ranking three-star Aachen event in Germany this
Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson and Jonathan Paget are joined by
Olympic reserve Lucy Jackson at the world equestrian festival, which has drawn
43 combinations from 10 countries.
Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance coach and Aachen chef d'equipe Erik
Duvander says the event will be used as a "training ground" to
continue to work on team dynamics.
But while he is keen to keep each combination in perfect
nick for the Olympics, Duvander says the threat of injury is always in the back
of his mind.
"I worry about all of the horses in the last weeks as
we build to London,
but we can't back down at this stage - we need to keep that competitive
Winning gold at Aachen
isn't a priority, but Duvander says his team have the form to threaten.
"None of them will be holding back - our riders are
always very competitive."
Nicholson will work on his Olympic mount Nereo, with Todd
aboard NZB Grass
Valley, Paget on Bullet Proof and Jackson on Kilcoltrim
Todd will also compete as an individual on Olympic team-mate
Jonelle Richards' horse Flintstar as Richards sits out the event with an
has an impressive track record at Aachen.
Last year the team won silver, and in 2010 Nicholson created history as the
first non-German rider to win the event.
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