An experienced New Zealand showjumping team has been named for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Four-time Olympian Bruce Goodin heads the riders, alongside double Olympian Daniel Meech and Sharn Wordley.
Goodin, who is based in Sweden, has previously competed at Barcelona 1992, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. He has been named aboard Backatorps Danny V.
Germany-based Meech wore the silver fern at Athens 2004 and Atlanta 1996, and will compete aboard the grey mare Cinca 3, while US-based Wordley, who has been named on Verdini d’Houtveld Z, competed at Beijing 2008. Meech placed 12th in the individual showjumping in Athens, New Zealand’s best ever result in the discipline.
The travelling alternate rider is California-based Uma O’Neill aboard her grey stallion Clockwise of Greenhill Z. The non-travelling reserve is Tom Tarver and his grey gelding Fiber Fresh Popeye.
Goodin says it’s an honour to be named for another Olympic Games. “It’s always a thrill to be selected for the Olympic Games and represent New Zealand again,” he said.
“It feels good to have Danny coming into good form at the right time. It is very exciting times. It will be a different Olympic Games I am sure but it is always very exciting to be there.”
Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance general manager Jock Paget, an eventing team bronze medallist from the 2012 London Olympic Games, says it had been a very long and challenging preparation for riders, horses, owners and support crew.
“The riders have had to take every opportunity to show form and deal with the endless disruption to their campaigns,” he said. “They all showed an impressive amount of resilience and adaptability. Our hat goes off to not just our selected riders, but to everyone who lined up throughout this campaign and made the selectors’ jobs difficult.”
NZOC chief executive Kereyn Smith passed her congratulations onto the athletes. “It’s fantastic to be naming such an experienced showjumping team for Tokyo. We wish the athletes all the best for the rest of their preparation and look forward to seeing them wear the fern and compete in Tokyo in just over a month,” said Smith.
New Zealand has been represented by five showjumping teams at Olympic Games but the nation’s first-ever showjumping Olympian was individual competitor Adrian White in Rome 1960.
The last time New Zealand had showjumpers at an Olympic Games was in 2008 in Beijing. Tokyo holds a special place in the hearts of Kiwi equestrians as the 1964 Olympic Games were the first time New Zealand had fielded a showjumping team at a Games.
• Bruce Goodin and Backatorps Danny V owned by Backatorp Ryder AB & Bruce & Ulrika Goodin
• Daniel Meech and Cinca 3 owned by Johnson Horses GmbH and Daniel Meech
• Sharn Wordley and Verdini D’Houtveld owned by Lauren Balcomb
• Uma O’Neill and Clockwise of Greenhill Z owned by Uma O’Neill Showjumping
• Tom Tarver and Fiber Fresh Popeye owned by Lucinda Voss and Tom Tarver