TAIT JOINS NEW ZEALANDS HIGH PERFORMANCE EVENTING SQUAD
19 December 2015
2 minute read
Equestrian Sports New Zealand has named its High Performance eventing squads heading into 2016, and includes four time Olympia Blyth Tait.
Blyth – who represented New Zeland at the Olympic Games in 1992 (where he won individual bronze and team silver), 1996 (where he won individual gold and team Bronze), 2000 and 2004 – has been named on the squad with Xanthus III and Bear Necessity V. He also won team and individual gold medals at the World Equestrian Gams in both 1990 and 1998, firstly with Messiah and then Ready Teddy. Blyth retired from the sport after the 2004 Athens Olympics and returned seven years later. It was recently announced that he was joining the team at Burgham Horse Trials as a cross country course designer for its two international events.
He joins Sir Mark Todd with Leonidas II and NZB Campino, Jock Paget with Clifton Lush and Clifton Signature, husband and wife team Tim and Jonelle Price – Tim with Wesko, Bango, Ringwood Sky Boy, whilst Jonelle has been named with Classic Moet and Faerie Dianimo. All have had solid performances throughout the Northern Hemisphere season.
The only Southern Hemisphere based rider on the squad is Clarke Johnstone with Balmoral Sensation, with the combination recently taking third place in the CCI4* at the Australian International Three Day Event in Adelaide.
New Zealand has a strong squad of riders, with the country featuring on the podium of all six CCI4* events, whilst Todd, Paget and Jonelle Price were members of the bronze medal winning team at the London Olympics in 2012.
The December squads are important as the riders look towards the 2016 Olympics in Rio. New Zealand qualified for a team spot in October, but those who were part of the squad then will not necessarily be the ones who get to go to the Olympics. In order to be selected for Rio, one of the pre-requisites is that combinations must be named on the Eventing High Performance Squad, however, this will be revised again in June leaving the door open for others not currently on the squad to be included before a final decision is made.
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