The team they field though is going to be a very mixed bag with few if any choices. The Australian selectors, and a few riders who'd like to think of themselves as selectors, prefer to select riders based on home territory, but for many years this has not been possible, nor is it ever likely to be. The depth and breath of the sport in GB is such that any aspiring international rider not to base themselves here, visas permitting, reduces their chances of success in the big northern hemisphere events. Hence numerous Aussie & Kiwi riders head to Great Britain to make their name.
In fact if Clayton & Lucinda Fredericks had horses to field this year, the strongest Australian team would probably be entirely GB based. As it stands the Fredericks duo, who competed at Hong Kong in 2008, are not expecting a call from the Aussie selectors, and Matt Ryan (triple Olympic Gold Medalist) is struggling to get 4 star rides after the retirement of Bonza Puzzle, not to mention his confusion over his own nationality. So this leaves the Aussie selectors with something of a mixed bag to choose from.
GB based Paul Tapner, who has been steadily tabling good results at the big 3-day-events over the last few years and has a string of top flight horses, will undoubtedly be part of the team (GB based). Based on what I've heard today, it'd be pretty foolish of the selectors to leave him at home.
Sam Griffiths, also GB based, has come to prominence in the last 2 years notching up podium places on Happy Times at Badminton & Burghley.
|Bill Levett - worthy of selection|
So now we're really down to Australia for the remaining options, and Sonja Johnson's Ringwould Jaguar has an impressive record, but this thoroughbred cross quarter horse is now 19 going on 20, I'd be surprised if he has a decent run in a foreign based championship left in him. With few other alternatives, the selectors may have no other choice but hand him a plane ticket.
Stuart Tinney is another obvious choice with Vettori, winner of the Adelaide CCI****, but this event was run at a reduced time and distance, so this horse doesn't stand out head and shoulders above the rest.
This just leaves Megan Jones and Kirby Park Irish Jester with any form or championship experience to speak of.
Whatever happens, the shenanigans of Aussie team selection, will be as entertaining to watch as the any of these Aussie riders.