Branxton’s Craig Barrett will put it all on the line this weekend as he bids for Olympic selection at the Sydney International Three Day Event.
The 42-year-old is competing against fellow Olympic hopefuls at the three-star event with just five spots available on the Australian eventing team that will travel to London in less than 100 days time.
The event, which starts on Friday and runs through to Sunday, presents Barrett with the best chance of qualifying for the Games despite being named in the Australian shadow squad earlier this year.
And 2008 Olympian Heath Ryan, of Heatherbrae, said results would be the only thing that would ensure Barrett of a place on the plane bound for Heathrow come late July.
“For him [Barrett] this is do or die,” Ryan said.
“He is competing for a spot on the team this weekend and he has just got to win.
“In actual fact, a top five might not be quite enough because there are still selections and politics to deal with.
“A win means he clears all that and that puts him in the best possible position to go to the Olympics.”
Barrett will have two cracks at Olympic selection at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre, riding Wendela Jamie and Sandhills Brillaire at the upcoming competition.
Barrett won the Melbourne International Three Day Event with Wendela Jamie last year.
Sandhills Brillaire finished third at the Sydney International Three Day Event last year.
“Two goes is better than one and they have both been going along well,” Barrett told the Mercury yesterday.
“This [event] is the main one and I would love to win it because it means you pretty much book a place on the plane.
“The Olympics has been my total focus at this point in time ... making sure we can pull out our best performance over the next few days.”
Barrett will be pitted against other Olympic hopefuls such as Olympic Gold medallists Stuart Tinney (2000), Megan Jones (2008) and top prospect Emma Mason.
Australia topped the eventing podium for three consecutive Olympics between 1992 and 2000.
The following week Ryan will contest the Sydney CDI 3-Star at the same venue in his
bid to represent Australia at back-to-back Olympics.