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Burton eyes eventing team for London

21 May 2012

Australia's Chris Burton has ended his Saumur CCI3* campaign the best possible way, finishing the weekend in first and second positions.

The 31 year-old, who made his debut for Australia at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, is now setting his sights on an Olympic Games berth as part of the five member Australian Eventing Team. 

“Winning here in front of the national selectors has given me a better chance to be part of the team for the Olympic Games,” said Burton.
“My horses were in form today and had really recovered well. All this rain was really good and the going was perfect. I was delighted with the performance of Haruzac, he is the least experienced of the two but he is really full of promise,” he added.
It was Burton’s less experienced horse Haruzac who was the eventual winner with Holstein Park Leilani, the mare that he competed with at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, which finished the runner-up.
On the final day of competition, Burton and Haruzac were the only Australian combination to jump clear however the pair was slower around the course and added a time fault to their final score.
Prior to the commencement of the Jumping phase Burton and Haruzac, who were placed second after cross country, were relegated to third position after Kiwi rider Andrew Nicholson’s cross country time was adjusted. Nicholson and Viscount George were held up on course after Aussie Clayton Fredericks suffered a fall.
Nicolson’s time was recalculated moving him into second position. The New Zealand combination ended the weekend in third place.
Fredericks a Beijing silver medallist and two time winner of Saumur suffered a stomach injury when he fell from Be My Guest and remains in an Angers hospital for examination.    
“I am absolutely fine (but) feeling frustrated to be laying here in hospital. It is just cautionary as it appeared Lottie (Be My Guest) stepped right on my stomach. (I’ll) be scanned in a few days and hopefully on my way and back to London preparations,” Fredericks said on his website yesterday. 
Australian combinations finished Saumur CCI3* as follows:
1st     Chris Burton and Haruzac
2nd   Chris Burton and Holstein Park Leilani   
5th     Bill Levett and One To Many NJ
6th     Bill Levett and Hippolyte
13th   Paul Tapner and Kilronan
14th   Paul Tapner and Wickstead Didgeridoo
Equestrian Australia

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