Equestrian Australia has announced their team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July, including two athletes whose selection will earn them new records.
Andrew Hoy will participate in his eighth Olympics games, which is the most Olympic appearances of any Australian Athlete.
He has been on the scene since his Olympic debut in Los Angeles in 1984 and a consistent performer, winning three gold medals for Australia. His selection for Tokyo 2020 makes him the 13th athlete in Olympic History to represent their country eight times.
The 62-year-old will surpass rider Bill Roycroft, who was 61 in his last games in Montréal 1976, as the oldest Australian male Olympian to compete in the games.
In an attempt to secure a fourth gold medal, Hoy will ride Vassily de Lassos, a 12-year-old gelding owned by David and Paula Evans and will be supported by groomer Clémentine Girardeau.
Hoy is looking forward to representing Australia, and riding a horse he believes may be one of his career best.
“To represent Australia at international level over so many years has been the greatest privilege and honour of my life,” Hoy said.
“I have never set out to break records on my number of Olympic Games participations – I am just a country boy from Culcairn, who loves his horses, has a huge passion for our sport and thrives on being competitive at the top end.
“I have been fortunate to have had wonderful support from so many people over the years, as you can never do this alone. It is a huge team effort, and I am so grateful for everyone´s support.
“There is nothing that beats the feeling of wearing the green and gold and being part of a team of incredible athletes – going onto the biggest sporting stage in the world – and all wanting to make Australia proud.
“I have got one of the best horses I have had in my whole career – so let’s hope the best is yet to come.”
Mary Hanna, a well-versed equestrian veteran will become the first female athlete to represent Australia in six Olympic games. After being on the scene for decades, she will also compete in her sixth Games at 66 years old making her Australia’s oldest Olympian.
With no medals under her belt, Hanna will ride her mare Calanta, co-owned with her husband Robert Hanna in hopes of winning her first. Aiding her in Tokyo is groom Casey Gill.
Hanna, a legend of Australian dressage, is excited to once again step into the Olympic arena.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be selected for my sixth Olympics,” Hanna said.
“It has been a truly testing time for all with so many challenges…a bit like walking a tightrope to get this far, and I am sure it’s been the same for my fellow team members.
“In spite of this I am so proud to be joining Kelly Layne and Simone Pearce to represent Australia, and I am sure together we will make a great team.”
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The Eventing team, comprising of Rio Bronze medallists Chris Burton and Shane Rose, has a wealth of experience behind them as they head into their third games, meanwhile, the Dressage competitors Simone Pearce and Kelly Layne are making their Olympic debut.
Accompanying the selected team to Japan, is Eventing team Reserve combination Stuart Tinney and Leporis.
Australian Equestrian Team
|Chris Burton||Eventing||Quality Purdey||3rd (2012, 2016)|
|Andrew Hoy||Eventing||Vassily de Lassos||8th (1984, 1988, 1992,|
1996, 2000, 2004, 2012)
|Shane Rose||Eventing||Virgil||3rd (2008, 2016)|
|Mary Hanna||Dressage||Calanta||6th (1996, 2000, |
2004, 2012, 2016)
The Jumping discipline’s team is undecided due to an appeal from a non-nominated athlete, once finalised, the team will be announced.