“Please come along for the ride in supporting Hazel Shannon in her bid to secure a spot on the Australian Eventing team for the Tokyo Olympics.”MAGGIE DAWKINS
Like many volunteers of the sport, my involvement began by supporting my daughter, Alice. Volunteering evolved to taking on the challenge of the inaugural Chair of Interschool in South Australia. With a teaching background, I saw how important fairness is to achieving success.
The first criteria for eventing selection by the FEI is a completion at 5*.
Hazel and her OTT Willinga Park Clifford were the only Australian combination to win a 5* event anywhere in the world last year.
Their success is equivalent to winning the Melbourne Cup.
In fact, Hazel and Willing Park Clifford have won the event an historic three times. In 2016, 2018 and 2019.
There have been issues with Equestrian High Performance in respect to management and selection, that sadly, don’t seem to have been resolved since Rio. Favouritism and retribution must give way to rewarding proven performance.
We should be supporting and inspiring our next generation of young female athletes to achieve their ambitions. It is vital that the dysfunction in the sport, does not impact on the proven ability of a capable young rider and her horse.
Give Hazel a fair go and support the campaign to get a young Olympic hopeful to Tokyo 2020.