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Selection process for London must be better, says showjumper Terceira

Jill Terceira is hoping the Bermuda Equestrian Federation (BEF) selection process for next year’s Olympic Games spot is better this time around then it was in 2008.

Terceira was left fuming after the BEF chose Patrick Nisbett over her to fly the flag at the 2008 Summer Games in Hong Kong after both riders had qualified for the Games at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Brazil.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that only one rider could go to the Games, with the FEI Rolex Rank standings of that year listing Terceira at 640th in the world, while Nisbett was 1210th.

The BEF decided to put the pair in a head-to-head competition in three shows in Europe, with Nisbett eventually being selected to ride, although he later pulled out after his horse wasn’t fit to make the trip.

This time around for Terceira, who qualified the Island at last month’s Pan Am Games, it is about making the right decision in the selection process, whatever that process is.

“I was extremely excited to perform how I did, I exceeded my own expectations which was to come in the top 15 so it was very pleasing and of course qualify Bermuda for the Olympics,” said Terceira.

“The way that the system is by region doesn’t allow two of us to go so I don’t know how the BEF will go about the selection for next year.

“I’m just hoping that the selection process can be a bit better this time around and I really don’t have any idea of how it will change, if it would change, no one has said anything to me about the process.

“I’m just waiting to hear from them and hopefully it will be a good selection process.

“Patrick and I are in good form this year, but who knows what will happen in the next year, it is a long way away and we are both managing our horses well and will be ready to give a good performance in London.”

In the meantime, the veteran rider will prepare herself and her horse for the European indoor competition that starts shortly before returning outdoor next spring.

“When the horse returns I will begin my indoor season in Europe and that goes to March/April and then back outdoor, so hopefully they can select the rider soon so that we can prepare and get things underway for the Olympics.”

One person who will have a keen eye on proceedings will be Bermuda Olympic Association (BOA) Judy Simons, who is hopeful that the BEF won’t have a repeat of the previous issue in which Terceira was less than impressed at being overlooked for the spot.

Her committee won’t intervene in the dealings of the sports governing body, but anxiously awaits the selection process and announcement of the country’s representative.

Admitting that the ball is in the court of the BEF committee, Simons feels sorry for the rider who loses out after both have had outstanding years to date on the European circuit.

“We won’t have a repeat of 2008, I think the BEF will look at the overall situation and sort it out, but I think it will be handled a bit differently this time around,” said Simons.

“It is tough in this sport when your athletes secure a spot for the country and not themselves, but I think they will have to take the overall points system into account and include the World Championships.

“There are a lot of things to be considered and the president of the BEF and his committee know they have to put together some type of criteria and advise us on the basis of the selection will take place.

“It is a crying shame for both of them to be in this again because Patrick has had a great season and then Jill has had a great Pan Am Games, I know nothing of the sport apart from watching it.

“I have to leave it in the good hands of the BEF and their committee and however they deliberate and come up with the name of who will take part in the Olympics.”

Jill Terceira in action in 2010.

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Published November 03, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated November 03, 2011 at 9:34 am)

Selection process for London must be better, says showjumper Terceira

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