Christine Bates – Campaign Rio 2016 Summary
Ever since I can remember, I have dreamed of representing my country and my sport at the highest level, the Olympics. With the 2016 Rio Olympics in sight, it is my goal to represent Australia in the Eventing Equestrian Team riding my horse, Adelaide Hill.
I have been riding horses all my life and have specialised in the equestrian sport of Eventing. Similar to an athletics triathlon, Eventing consists of three distinctive phases; Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country. A demanding sport physically, mentally and emotionally, Eventing is built upon the strength of the partnership between horse and rider. The old saying “You’re only as good as the horse you’re sitting on” is both true and relevant. Right now I have the best horse of my career.
In June 2015, Adelaide Hill and I won the Melbourne International Three Day Event, making us eligible for selection in the 2016 Australian team. With 20 years of elite level experience and a more than capable horse, I feel that the next step to achieve selection is to gain valuable international experience and begin campaigning in the UK and Europe.
As a mother to my 9 year old son, wife to my husband Matthew, business owner and operator of Bates Equestrian Pty Ltd and an elite level competitor, I know what it is like to be busy. I take great pride in being a sportswoman and mother, competing at the highest level. As a small business owner it is nearly impossible to fund a trip like this without financial support. I am extremely lucky to have family, friends and clients who will contribute as much as they can afford. However I know realistically without additional sponsorship this trip will not be possible.
I believe that the program that I’ve set out for 2016 will maximise my chances of gaining selection. As a precursor to Europe, I will compete in a number of major, international events within Australia. These events include competitions in Albury (March 2016) and Camden (April 2016). The Australian component of my preparation will be a key feature of my campaign, allowing me access to my support network and maximise local endorsements.
Following these events, Adelaide Hill and I will travel to the UK in early May 2016 where we will compete at two major targeted events. The first of these events is Saumur International in France and the second Luhmuhlen International in Germany. Experience and participation in these events will not only provide exposure to international audiences but will also offer the best chance of selection.
History has shown that previous Australian Gold medallists have been successful by following a British and European campaign. The cost is significant and I will be unable to fulfil my dream alone.
Any funds we can raise will help get us there & through to final selection!