Back in a COTH blog from June 2012, Sinead stated: At the beginning of the season I was told, thankfully, by the selectors that it wasn’t necessary for Tate and I to compete at a CCI competition, but that we would need to hold our form at the CIC level all spring. This was to give Tate the best chance to be fit mentally and physically for the Games.
It seems to be an oft repeated statement that Sinead was told she was a 'shoo in' for the team in 2012. But I've never heard that she has confirmed that version. And the above actually suggests otherwise. And frankly, even if those were the actual words uttered, it must be put in context. It was early 2012, and if the team had been named in January or February of 2012, she probably would have been on the team. That isn't to say, however, that there weren't lots of other horses vying for spots. I can think of a few horses that would have been very legitimate contenders if their seasons had gone a bit differently.
Instead, the Team actually did a great thing, imo, and gave her the flexibility to build a program that suited her horse and the ultimate end goal:
So this year, when I went to the Captain and asked, “OK, so if I’m not going to Rolex (which I know how to prepare for) what do you think I should do for my season?” it shocked me a little when he responded, “Do whatever you need to do to prepare you and your horse to perform your best at the biggest competition of your life.”
Now, perhaps the Team could have provided more support or advice through that process. I don't know. But I don't think Sinead was left off the Team because she didn't run Rolex, or because she headed to England earlier. I just don't think that is a fair assessment.
As for this year, particularly with a horse with substantial upper level miles, if the goal is WEG 2014, why would you waste his legs on Rolex when Pau (or another French event) will provide the best preparation? Particularly a horse like Tate who hasn't, historically, been heavily competed.