The SJA Olympic lunch, co-hosted by BT Vision and being staged at BT Tower on April 14 now has a confirmed guest list.
In addition to Sir Keith Mills attending the function from noon on behalf of London 2012, the top British equestrians – all with hopes of winning medals at this year’s Olympics and Paralympics – present will be Sarah Cohen, Nicola Tustain and Tim Stockdale.
Places at the lunch are strictly limited, and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis – with a charge of Â£10 for SJA members, Â£15 for non-members of the SJA, with proceeds going to charity. Booking details below.
Here’s brief biographies of our equestrian guests supplied by the British Equestrian Federation:
Name: Nicola Tustain
Sport: Para-Equestrian Dressage
Nicola is one of Great Britainâ€™s leading Para-Equestrian Dressage riders â€“ the Paralympic discipline in Equestrian Sport. As a nation, Britain dominates this sport and currently holds the European, World and Olympic team titles.
If Nicola is selected for the Paralympic team this year it will be her third Games and she hopes to add to the 5 Paralympic medals she has already won. In Sydney she won individual Gold, individual Bronze and Team Gold. She added 2 more individual Bronze medals and another team Gold to this tally in Athens.
In 2007 the World Para-Equestrian Dressage Championships came to Hartpury in Gloucestershire, but Nicola did not have the best build up to the competition. Her Paralympic horse from Athens, Prinz Heinrich, was injured just a few months before the competition and she suffered a fractured coccyx in a fall from a young horse. She brought her previous top horse, Hotstuff, out of retirement for the championships and he excelled, winning individual Gold and Silver.
Hotstuff could not be expected to make the trip to Hong Kong at the age of 20 so the search was on to find a replacement which she thinks she has found in the form of her new horse â€“ Rivaldo of Berkley. They are now working hard on their partnership and are hoping to travel to Hong Kong in August.
Nicola is also very involved with the Riding for the Disabled Association and coaches other disabled riders.
Name: Sarah Cohen (nee Cutteridge)
Sarah Cutteridge was selected to represented Great Britain with The Wexford Lady at the 2004 Olympic Games, following a stream of good results running up to the competition. Unfortunately her Olympic dream was not to be as The Wexford Lady went lame just hours before the competition was due to start. Her place was taken by travelling reserve Mary King and the team went on to win the silver medal, plus individual Bronze (Pippa Funnell) and individual Gold (Leslie Law).
Sarah, a member of the World Class Performance Squad, had a good season in 2007, including finishing 9th at Badminton on Hide and Seek, her Olympic prospect for this year.
In the early days of her Eventing career Sarah featured several times representing Britain at youth level where she won both the Young Rider and Junior national titles. She temporarily left Eventing in the late 90s to retrain racehorses at the Hong Kong Jockey Club and prepare pentathletes for the Chinese National Games. She returned to full time competition in 1999.
Name: Tim Stockdale
Sport: Show Jumping
Tim is probably one of the best known faces in British show jumping. Now aged 43, he first represented Great Britain in 1988 and has since represented his country on 34 occasions on Nations Cup teams and also on the World Equestrian Games team in 2002.
Tim has won numerous international competitions but has never competed at an Olympic Games. This year he has a great opportunity with his top horse, Fresh Direct Corlato, to be selected and is focusing his attention on this goal. Tim is also a member of the World Class Performance programme and has been since 2003.
Tim has always been very involved in the sport, not only as a rider but is also keen to raise the profile of the sport as a whole. For example, he was the Chairman of the BSJA Marketing committee from 2004 to 2007, a role which he has stepped down from to make more time for his Olympic ambition. He is also famous for his part in the 2006 Sport Relief project, Only Fools on Horses, where he taught a number of celebrities to show jump in just a few short weeks.
2007 was a very good year for Tim, Fresh Direct Corlato, a horse he has described as the best all-rounder he has ever had, won 4 major grands prix and already in 2008 he has secured a place in the World Cup final and won Nates Grand Prix for the second successive year. The British show jumping team will be selected towards the end of June.
Bookings for the lunch must be made in advance to access the event. Contact the SJA social secretary Trevor Bond on Trevjanbond1@aol.com.
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