Page targets Olympics call

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EQUESTRIAN enthusiast Tim Page is eyeing a dream Olympics appearance following an impressive display on the Sunshine Tour in Spain earlier this month.

Competing for Britain, Page, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, attained a credible fifth place on Quentin Tarrantino in a hotly-contested Grand Prix class – finishing ahead of 51 other riders and being one of only five to go clear.

The 21-year-old leading showjumper followed that with fourth in the 1M45 speed class on Trevor Sturman’s Wyoming, before claiming the same finish on Hopkins 19 in the 1M40 accumulator.

“This has been a great start to the Tour,” said Page.

“The horses are all jumping really well and we are holding our own against this tough opposition. It’s good to be out on the international circuit – and the weather is perfect which makes it all the more enjoyable.”

On the back of these successes, Page has been selected to ride two new horses for renowned German owner Ansgar Holtgers.

With two weeks left in Vejer de la Frontera, Page is aiming to impress the British team in such a way that a dream Olympics appearance – more likely to come in 2016 – becomes a reality.

“There are another couple of weeks to go, so I am looking to build on this form,” he added.

Page is part of British Equestrian Federation’s UK Sport funded World Class Development Programme. The set up incorporates the three Olympic sports of dressage, eventing and showjumping.

The aim of the programme is to have in place a sustainable system that can deliver more medals on the international stage. The programme has been funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

A statement from British Equestrian Federation this week: “We cannot say at this stage which riders will make up the team for London 2012.

“What we can say, however, is that Tim is on the World Class Development Programme - and the British Equestrian Federation is working with him to harness his talent and build on his successes. But it’s worth saying that equestrianism is a two athlete sport – horse and rider – and so riders need to maintain and develop the necessary horsepower in order to succeed.

“Over the next 18 months, in the lead up to London 2012, the form of those British riders competing nationally and internationally will be as important as ever, with the European Championships – the last major competition before the Olympics – serving as an indication of riders to watch.”