Depth of Talent in Revised Eventing Squads

Published 17 March 2017

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Equestrian Sports New Zealand has announced its revised eventing squads for 2017, with some changes made to the squad structure and those feeding into the top tier.


The High Performance Squad, which consists of combinations being aimed towards the upcoming 2018 World Equestrian Games, consists of nine combinations from riders Sir Mark Todd, Tim and Jonelle Price, Blyth Tait, Clarke Johnstone and Caroline Powell.


Todd is on with his 2012 London Olympic Games team bronze medal-winning horse NZB Campino, who has four top 10 CCI4* finishes to his credit and his 2016 Olympic mount Leonidas II who finished 7th in Rio and 4th at Badminton last year.


Jonelle Price has Classic Moet, who was fourth individual at the 2014 World Equestrian Games and has had three top 10 CCI4* finishes, including third at Burghley in 2016. She is also on squad with her Rio Olympic Games horse Faerie Dianimo, who was also second at Luhmuhlen CCI4* in 2015 and fourth at Pau CCI4* in 2014.


Tim Price has his Rio horse on squad in Ringwood Sky Boy, who was fourth at both Burghley and Luhmuhlen last year and second at Burghley in 2015. He has also been named with Bango who has competed at both Burghley and Kentucky.


Rio reserve Blyth Tait is in with Bear Necessity V who has completed Burghley, Badminton and Pau. Clarke Johnstone, New Zealand’s best-placed individual at Rio, is on squad with Balmoral Sensation, who was fifth on début at Badminton and third at Adelaide. Caroline Powell re-joins the squad with Onwards and Upwards, who placed eighth at Burghley last year.


The High Performance Futures Squad replaces the former High Performance Accelerator Squad and will consist of combinations that have proven 3* performances in an international field, with the potential to podium in an international 3* field.  These combinations are being aimed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.


Named in this squad are Jonelle Price and Cloud Dancer, Tim Price and Xavier Faer, Sir Mark Todd and Kiltubrid Rhapsody, Jesse Campbell with both Cleveland and Amsterdam 21, Dan Jocelyn and Dassett Cool Touch and Jock Paget aboard Angus Blue.


The new Future Potential Recognition Group recognises riders with the skill, knowledge and expertise to produce a horse to high performance level, who are actively training and competing horses of future potential but are yet to attain the performances required of the High Performance Squads.


Ten riders have been named on this squad, including Lucy Jackson, James Avery, Lizzie Green, Neil Spratt, Megan Heath, Donna Edwards-Smith, Joe Meyer, Amanda Pottinger, Samantha Felton and Ginny Thomson.

These riders will be provided with the opportunity to attend squad trainings and events where capacity allows with targeted horses.


The Performance Programme which has evolved significantly over the past three years under the leadership of Penny Castle, continues to consist of the Talent ID and Talent Development squads. The Performance Programme is targeted at New Zealand-based riders only, given the significant camp-based component of these programmes.


Named in the Talent Development Squad are Abby Lawrence, Andy Daines, Tayla Mason, Sarah Young and Ashleigh McKinstry, while on the Talent ID Squad are Abigail Long, Danielle Wheeler, Jackson Bovill, Vicky Browne-Cole, Renee Faulkner, Beth Wilson and Lucy Turner.


ESNZ high performance director Sarah Dalziell-Clout says there is plenty to be excited about with the naming of the squads. “Our Performance Selectors were particularly impressed with the number and quality of applications received for the Talent ID Squad” she said.


The Talent ID Squad is announced just once a year, but the remaining squads will be reconsidered around June.


“We’ll all be watching the next five months of performance with interest as there are a number of riders sitting just outside the parameters of some of the squads who could see themselves included in a squad in June.”


Dalziell-Clout also paid tribute to the selectors “Selection takes a lot of time, due diligence and effort from our selectors, so I thank Bill (Phiskie), Judy (Bradwell), Cindy (Llewellyn), Mitty (Forsyth) and Vicki (Glynn) for their knowledge, input and time.”


Click here for more information on the Performance Pathway or the Selection Criteria


The squads are (* denotes current short-term injury):


High Performance Squad

Sir Mark Todd - NZB Campino owned by New Zealand Bloodstock and Todd

Sir Mark Todd - Leonidas II owned by Diane Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Todd

Jonelle Price - Classic Moet owned by Trisha Rickards and Price

Jonelle Price - Faerie Dianimo* owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and Price

Tim Price - Ringwood Sky Boy owned by Robert Taylor, Varenna Allen, Price and

Tim Price - Bango owned by Numero Uno Syndicate

Blyth Tait - Bear Necessity V owned by Ronnie Bartlett and Tait

Clarke Johnstone - Balmoral Sensation owned by the Johnstone family

Caroline Powell - Onwards and Upwards owned by Cameron and Mary Crawford and Powell


High Performance Futures Squad

Jonelle Price - Cloud Dancer* owned by the Marley and Me Syndicate

Tim Price -  Xavier Faer owned by Trisha Rickards and Price

Sir Mark Todd - Kiltubrid Rhapsody owned by Niki Ryan and Dr Elizabeth Donald

Jesse Campbell - Cleveland owned by Jesse Campbell

Jesse Campbell - Amsterdam 21* owned by Gary Harding

Dan Jocelyn - Dassett Cool Touch owned by Therese Miller and Jocelyn

Jock Paget - Angus Blue owned by Joe Gianamore


Future Potential Recognition Squad

Lucy Jackson

James Avery

Megan Heath

Lizzie Green

Neil Spratt

Donna Edwards-Smith

Amanda Pottinger

Joe Meyer

Samantha Felton

Ginny Thomson


Talent Development Squad

Abby Lawrence

Andy Daines

Tayla Mason

Sarah Young

Ashleigh McKinstry


Talent ID Squad

Abigail Long

Danielle Wheeler

Jackson Bovill

Vicky Browne-Cole

Renee Faulkner

Beth Wilson

Lucy Turner