Powell gets chance to ride star horse in London
Scotland-based Kiwi eventer Caroline Powell has been given the green light to have her outstanding grey horse Lenamore available for Olympic selection.
The 19-year-old 2010 Burghley Horse Trial champion was to have his eighth consecutive start at Badminton this weekend, but with that cancelled owners Lexi Jackson and Janie MacKinnon moved their focus to London.
For Powell, who is also a co-owner of the horse, it was welcome news.
"He will be a very good athlete for London if he is selected," said the 39-year-old. "He's small and nippy enough to cope with the undulations on the cross country course, and I think he would do well."
Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance coach Erik Duvander was delighted with the news.
"Lenamore has looked so great over the whole winter preparation, we were confident things would fall into place."
Initially the owners were going to wait until after Badminton to see how the horse was after such a big event before any decisions were made about his availability for selection for New Zealand for the London Olympics.
Powell and Lenamore were New Zealand's best performed individuals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with their 14th place. Powell was also part of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2010 world championships aboard MacMacdonald.
"I think we have the makings of a really good team for London," says Powell. "We just need to keep all the horses in one piece, run them in the right places and do the right thing for them all."
Powell and Lenamore will next week head to the CIC three-star World Cup Qualifier at Chatsworth in the UK. Powell has also qualified for London aboard Boston Two Tip.
The news means Lenamore will now be added to the ESNZ eventing high performance 2012 squad. The New Zealand eventing team is set to be announced early July.