U.S. Equestrian Federation officials have posted the selection procedure for the U.S. show jumping team for the 2012 London Olympic Games. The selection process takes part in two phases—a series of four selection trials in late March after which a long list is formed, and then four designated observation events in May and June in which long listed competitors will compete. USEF officials need to submit Nominated Entries to the Federation Equestre Internationale and the U.S. Olympic Committee by June 17.
The selection process also involves a combination of objective selection and subjective decisions. The Olympic selection trials take place over four rounds of jumping in Wellington, Fla.—one round on March 21, two rounds on March 22, and one round on March 24. Within 48 hours after the conclusion of the fourth round of selection trials, the selectors—Susie Hutchison, Chris Kappler and Mark Leone—in consultation with the USEF team veterinarian and Chef d’Equipe George Morris, will rank all the horse/rider combinations into a long list.
Riders will be ranked according to their finish in the selection trials, with ties being broken by number of clean rounds. There are also up to five possible spots on the long list for discretionary selection, and the selectors may choose to recommend to name horse/rider combinations for the long list before the conclusion of the selection trials. The selectors will subjectively rank any discretionary positions within the final standings of the trials to form the long list.
Once named to the long list, horse/rider combinations come under the control of the chef d’equipe, Morris. They must have his permission to jump or compete and must have written permission to work with a trainer other than the chef d’equipe.
Riders on the long list must then compete at two of the designated observation events: the Del Mar CSI (Calif.) on May 1-6, the Lexington CSI (Ky.) on May 8-13, the Devon CSI (Pa.) on May 29-June 2, and the Calgary CSI (Alta.) on June 13-17.
At the conclusion of the observation events, the selectors, in consultation with the chef d’equipe and USEF team veterinarian, will recommend a ranked list of a minimum of five (and up to a maximum of 12) horse/rider combinations for the FEI nominated entries by June 17. Before July 6, the deadline for final entries, the selectors, chef d’equipe and team veterinarian will evaluate the entries and recommend a ranked list of four horse/rider combinations to be named to the team and one horse/rider combination to be named as alternate.