THE TOP 15 EVENTERS VYING FOR THE AUSTRALIAN TEAM
The following 15 eventers are in order of merit according to my reckoning. The “Heath” criteria is the lowest score (which is in penalties, so the lower the score the better) at a 4* or 5* three-day event. In today’s language this is called a CCI4*L or a CCI5*L. The Australian selectors have indicated that they will also consider one-day event results, which is called a CCI4*S. I don’t think there is such a thing as a 5* one-day event. The Australian selectors have indicated that they will exercise flexibility in their selection efforts to produce the best four Australian riders for the FEI World Championships in Pratoni de Vivaro, Italy, from 14-18 September 2022. So, the “Heath” criteria is a little different to what the Australian selectors might use.
1. Andrew Hoy and his Olympic Team Silver Medal and Individual Bronze Medal horse from Tokyo, Vassily de Lassos, has his Tokyo score of 29.6 penalties. For the moment, this puts Andrew in the pole position for Australian selection. This score may well get challenged at the Melbourne International Three-Day Event (MI3DE) this coming June long weekend. But as of this moment, Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos is my No. 1 selection.
2. Kevin McNab and Scuderia 1918 A Best Friend is the No. 2 selection for Australia. This is not Kevin’s Tokyo Team Silver Medal horse, so Kevin is in a great position with great depth in his horsepower. A Best Friend scored 30.2 penalties at Pau CCI5*L and this is just a fraction behind Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos. So, this certainly gets the Australian Eventing Team potentially away to a very strong team.
3. Kevin McNab comes in again at No. 3 riding his Olympic Silver Medal Team horse, Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam. This is a little bit of a technical complication in that a rider can only ride one horse at the World Championships, so in a team of four this doesn’t help if one of the other riders needs to be replaced at the last moment. This is only useful if Kevin’s first selection becomes unavailable then he can slot straight back into the team with his second-string horse. This so-called second-string horse has a score of 34.3 penalties at the Kentucky CCI5*L.
4. Shane Rose on Virgil comes in really at No. 3 in the team, however, as a combination they are ranked No. 4. Virgil is the final Team Silver Medal-winning horse from the Tokyo Olympics and his Olympic score was 35.7 penalties.
Like Kevin McNab, Shane has other horses, one of which is Easy Turn who does not have a three-day event score within the qualifying period for the 2022 World Championships. Easy Turn did, however, score 26.6 penalties in the 4*L in 2020. This score is so freaky that had Shane and Easy Turn done this at Tokyo, they would have won an Individual Silver Medal. Well, all of this is speculation, however, I would suggest that Shane may well repeat this feat at the MI3DE. This partnership is the single biggest threat to taking over pole position from Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos. Holy smoke! That would be amazing and so, so good in terms of strengthening the Australian team to a point where it could be the best eventing team ever in Australian history! Wild speculation at this point in time but this is really, really worth watching at the MI3DE.