Everything, I mean absolutely everything, has been so impacted by Covid-19, including whatever is still to come! Three years ago, no one in the whole world would have believed the Covid-19 adventure that was to unfold (maybe not a good adventure but an adventure nevertheless.)
Well, life goes on. In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics — against all the odds and opinions from the public and the astute experts — went ahead and proved to be an amazing success. An amazing success! The courage and resilience of the Japanese organisers and the enthusiastic support from all over the world from the best of our best athletes, not just in equestrian but from across all sports, was magnificent. It was truly, truly magnificent. Clearly Tokyo against all odds rose to the occasion and illustrated to the world that no matter what the hardship, we all have an exciting future and we all need to get on with it.
Right, so Australia was magnificent in earning a team silver Eventing medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and now we need to move on and get our sights firmly fixed on the 2022 FEI World Championships.
This coming year, the World Championships are no longer held with all equestrian disciplines at the one venue. Really sad but all seven disciplines — Eventing, Dressage, Para-Dressage, Show Jumping, Vaulting, Driving and Endurance — are going ahead, and in Championships gone by, Australia is one of the very few countries to have teams in all disciplines (including Reining in previous years, although that is no longer governed by the FEI). Let’s hope that the outstanding Australian horsemanship once again charges across the world, challenging the best there is in every other country.
The Dressage, Para-Dressage, Show Jumping and Vaulting are all going to be held in Herning in Denmark from 6-14 August. The Eventing and Driving will be held in Italy at Pratoni on 15-25 September. The Endurance is in Verona, Italy, on 22 October.
DOWN TO THE NITTY-GRITTY
To be selected on an Australian team, whether it be Eventing, Show Jumping or Dressage, riders do need to meet qualification criteria also known within the sport as MERs (Minimum Eligibility Requirements). This selection criteria is ordinarily posted on the Equestrian Australia website usually 18 months to two years before final selection. The fact that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games experienced a 12-month postponement and so were in actual fact staged this year in 2021, has made getting ready for the next championship a bit hectic. Nevertheless, we do need to now get on with it.
At the time of writing, there is no selection criteria on the Equestrian Australia website, and as we are now only nine months out from the first of the Championships, this selection criteria is urgently needed for our riders vying for selection for these 2022 World Championships. This selection criteria has to come from the Australian administrators, in particular the selectors. This is a critically urgent piece of leadership needed from EA.