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Showjumper named to NZ Olympic equestrian team
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Katie McVean has broken new ground after being named by the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) on Thursday to the New Zealand showjumping team for the Beijing Olympic Games.

McVean, 22, is the first New Zealand-based showjumper to make the Olympics in 16 years.

She will be joined in Chinese Hong Kong, where the Olympic equestrian events will be held, by the experienced Bruce Goodin and Daniel Meech, and newcomer Sharn Wordley.

McVean, a full-time rider based in Waikato, showed signs of her potential from an early age and has won a host of titles both at home and offshore.

She has a strong showjumping pedigree and will follow in the footsteps of her father Jeff, who competed at Olympic, World Cup and world championship level for Australia. Her mother Vicki also rode for Australia.

"I'm very excited to be able to represent my country at what is the most prestigious sporting event in the world," McVean said.

Based in Sweden for many years, Goodin, 38, has a strong record on the British and European showjumping circuits.

"I've been working hard to get to this point and am now thrilled to be going to my fourth Olympics," Goodin said. Goodin also attended the 1992, 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

Belgium-based Meech, 34, has been on every New Zealand shortlist for world championships and Olympic Games since 1996 and is New Zealand's best placed individual showjumper at an Olympic Games after finishing 12th in Athens in 2004. He will be attending his third Olympics in Hong Kong.

Wordley, 34, has backed up a stellar 12 months on the U.S. Grand Prix circuit to fulfill a life-long dream. Based in Florida, Wordley had podium finishes in 15 Grand Prix events in the United States over the past year.

The selection announcement on Thursday brings the New Zealand Olympic Equestrian team to a total of nine riders. No further selections are expected.

(Xinhua News Agency July 3, 2008)

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