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Sharn Wordley Qualifies Second Horse for the Olympics

New Zealand Closes In on Four Riders for Hong Kong

Lummen, Belgium---When the pressure's on, Sharn Wordley and the rest of the New Zealand Olympic candidates turn on the heat and lay down fault-free trips at the world's most competitive showjumping venues. Although New Zealand already qualified a team for this summer's Olympic Games, in order for the team to compete, each individual rider must also earn a Certificate of Capability (COC) by jumping fault-free or low-fault rounds at CSI events that are designated three-star or higher. These competitions feature the most challenging courses in the world and are a fair indicator of Olympic-level talent. While their European tour to earn their COCs has just begun, three New Zealand riders, including Wordley, have already amassed the successful trips needed to earn the designation.

"It was a great relief to earn my COC so quickly," Wordley says. "New Zealand riders are tough and thrive under pressure, so I'm confident that our team will be heading to Hong Kong."

Wordley earned his COC at CSIO5* Lummen in Belgium with his young KWPN horse Rockville, by Ferro. The pair had no jumping faults and just two time faults in Thursday's speed class, and one rail down in the 1.5 meter Prijs Het Laatste Nieuws. They also competed in the Nation's Cup where Wordley had a rail down and a toe on the tape, but good enough to meet the COC requirements at a CSIO5* event. Wordley wasn't the only New Zealander to be successful at Lummen. Teammate Grant Wilson won the CSIO5* Derby with Refallo.

Following the exciting weekend in Lummen, Wordley also qualified Fall Kaheer, a Belgian gelding by Pavarottii during a special Olympic Qualifier at Hagen. He says, "We want to have as many options and the strongest team possible." With this in mind, he will continue to show Rockville and Fall Kaheer at select shows. Wordley's teammates, Swedish-based Bruce Goodin and Katie McVean, have also earned their COCs. Daniel Meech is also in the hunt for an Olympic spot. The New Zealand squad has selected several more CSI events to hone their competitive edge. The Olympic team will be announced in June.

About Sharn Wordley:

Wordley, a native of New Zealand, has represented his country in numerous Nation's Cups and has competed in 22 countries. He qualified for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and was the young rider champion in New Zealand earlier in his career. In addition to his victories as a rider, Wordley has coached riders who have gone on to represent their countries in the Olympics, World Cup Finals, World Championships and the Pan American Games.

 

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