With the 2000 Olympics on the horizon the EFA has increased the Elite Squad by two. It has also honoured the memory of the talented Robert Slade by leaving his name on the National A Squad until the next review, due in December this year.*
The elite squad is the official shadow team for the Sydney Olympics and three riders, Sammi MacLeod (Red Hunter), David Middleton (Willowbank Jack) and Tara Trebilcock (Lewis) have been included while Shane Rose (Its A Knockout) are now on the Elite Holding list. The two other riders to remain on the Elite Holding list are Andrew Hoy (Darien Powers) and David Green (Chatsby).
Prue Barrett and High Opportunity have dropped off that list after he sustrained an injury last year and has not put in a performance since. But Prue has been named on the National A Squad with Wandela Jackamin, the horse she finished in fourth place with at the Melbourne International in June.
The winner of the Melbourne International Christine MacLeod (Masterpiece) a Western Australian rider that has trooped across the Nullabour Plains several times in her quest for success, has been named in the National A Squad. Christine is now based in Sydney where she and her partner, Gary White, work for Hawkesbury racing trainer Mathew Bates. Masterpiece, has had a chequered career having once been on the short list. He performed well in the 1995 Melbourne International, was shorted listed in 1996 but developed a hoof tumour and was out until last year. He started his career as an untried race horse as it was ascertained that as a two year old Masterpiece, so named because he is in Mastercopy and Masterprint line, had an aversion to galloping. He later developed a bit of a reputation for bucking although Christine said she has never experienced a good old fashioned "all four off the ground" during the time she has had him.
Other riders to make that list this time around are, Louise Baston (Witchey Woman), Phillip Dutton (Show of Hearts), Clayton Fredericks (Bunderberg), Tarsha Hammond (Fuzzy Logic), Sonja Johnston (Just A Partner), Warren Lamperd (Bootlegger 11), Amanda Ross (Londons Night Owl), Brook Staples (Ferndale Victoria) and Stewart Tinney (Belcam Aava).
Shane Rose is still on the list with Mr Joe Cool but Wayfarer, the horse he finished third on in the Melbourne International has been added to the squad.
The riders who are out are Emily Anker (Estabon), Craig Barrett (Elusive Warlock), Tim Boland (Limitless) , Chris Chugg (Navy Seal) and Danny Wilson (Wenlock Cuchulain).
With all eyes on the Olympics, the Adelaide C**** is where selectors will have the pen and pencil out. Adelaide is now the only fourth four star event in world, the others being Badminton, Burleigh (UK) and Kentucky (USA). The other two are the Olympics and the World Equestrian Games wherever they are held.
The lists are as follows.