Europe captain Darren Clarke was keen to stress that the Ryder Cup in September wasn’t in his thoughts heading into the second edition of the EurAsia Cup this week. ”There’s no Ryder Cup stuff going on in the back of my mind,” Clarke said on Tuesday. It seems his players see it differently. ”One of the main reasons I wanted to play the EurAsia Cup so much was to get invaluable team experience in a Ryder Cup year,” said Irish player Shane Lowry, making it clear where his priorities lay going into the match against Asia starting in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. ”A lot of the lads on our team next week are looking to qualify for the Ryder Cup this year and (this week) gives us a great chance to show Darren what we are capable of and hopefully impress him.” Lowry is one of a number of Europe’s new breed looking to take their opportunity this week in the absence of the continent’s star names – Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, and Graeme McDowell. Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, and Stephen Gallacher all played in the first EurAsia Cup, which finished tied at 10-10 in 2014, and went on to make their Ryder Cup debuts later that year in Gleneagles. For maybe half of the 2016 team, the same reward is there. Three days of competition in the sweltering heat at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club – temperatures reached 102 degrees on Tuesday – will help Clarke discover if the likes of Andy Sullivan, Kristoffer Broberg, Danny Willett, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Bernd Wiesberger can be relied on when the stakes are raised at Hazeltine from Sept. 30-Oct. 2. What helps Clarke and his European side is that Asia has put up an even stronger team this time round. Anirban Lahiri and Byeong-Hun An, two rising stars in Asian golf, are on the team captained by Jeev Milkha Singh. Thongchai Jaidee is also there, backing up his appearance for Team International in last year’s Presidents Cup against the United States in Incheon, South Korea. That contest counted as Ryder Cup practice for the Americans, who will be looking to prevent an unprecedented fourth straight victory for Europe in Hazeltine. Now it’s the Europeans’ turn. It is also a shop window for Asia’s players. ”They know that they are playing on the big stage and the world stage, and from there, they can move on and follow their dream, whether it’s the European Tour or the U.S. (PGA) tour,” Singh said. ”Having an event like this, I think, it’s a big boost for golf worldwide.” There will be six fourball matches on Friday, six foursomes on Saturday, and then 12 singles on Sunday. In 2014, Asia came from 7-3 down to salvage an unlikely tie, and Clarke is predicting another close match, which would be a good experience for the Europeans. ”Hopefully, it will be every bit as exciting,” Clarke said. ”I don’t know how our nerves will be at the end of the week.” The Queen of Malaysia, Tuanku Hajah Haminah, is set to play in Thursday’s pro-am. She will strike a ceremonial opening tee shot before joining the players on the course. Lineups: Asia: Byeong-Hun An, Anirban Lahiri, Thongchai Jaidee, Wu Ashun, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, SSP Chawrasia, Danny Chia, Nicholas Fung, KT Kim, Shingo Katayama, Prayad Marksaeng, Jeunghun Wang. Europe: Shane Lowry, Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood, Kristoffer Broberg, Danny Willett, Soren Kjeldsen, Matt Fitzpatrick, Bernd Wiesberger, Victor Dubuisson, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher.
The team of Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, Jacqueline Brooks and Gran Gesto, and Leslie Reid and Orion are currently preparing for the Games in the pre-shipment quarantine facility in Aachen, Germany. Please join Dressage Canada in wishing this group of competitors the best of success as they represent Canada in Hong Kong. Dressage Canada gratefully acknowledges the support of Sport Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee and all of supporters, sponsors and friends for their continued support of the Canadian Dressage Team in its quest for excellence at the 2008 Olympic Games. We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. Please visit www.dressagecanada.org for a list of supporters and sponsors, and show your support by joining the Dressage Canada Olympic Dressage Supporters Club. Every member will have their name listed on the website and receive a commemorative special edition 2008 Olympic dressage pin. This is the same pin that our 2008 Canadian Olympic Dressage Team will be taking with them to Hong Kong to spread the sportsmanship and goodwill of Canadian athletes. Both the FEI Grand Prix Special and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle competitions, which are valued at an equal level, count toward the final Individual results. The percentages of the two competitions will be added up and divided by two to obtain the final classification. The final result for each competitor will be given in the form of a percentage score. If two competitors have the same final score, the higher artistic marks in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle will decide for the better placing. Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! August 13 – Team Grand Prix Day 1August 14 – Team Grand Prix Day 2 and Team MedalsAugust 16 – Individual Qualifier Grand Prix Speciale Day 1August 19 – Individual Grand Prix Freestyle Day 1 and Medals Ottawa, ONâ€”Dressage Canada announces that it will be sending a team of three horse/rider combinations to the 2008 Olympic Games without a travelling reserve combination. Unfortunately, the previous travelling reserve combination, Evi Strasser and Quantum Tyme, will be unable to be part of the team going to Hong Kong. More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. Email* The provisional schedule for the Olympic Games Dressage Competition is: At the 2008 Olympic Games, the team competition consists of the Grand Prix test in which all competitors must participate and also serves as the first Individual Qualifying Competition. The team medals are decided in descending order starting with the team with the highest combined total scores. Each team is comprised of three riders. The FEI Grand Prix Speciale is the second Individual Qualifying Competition, which is limited to and compulsory for the 25 best horse/rider combinations from the Grand Prix test, including those who tie for 25th place. If all three riders of a team qualify, they may all participate. The FEI Grand Prix Freestyle is the final Individual Qualifying Competition and is limited to and compulsory for the overall best 15 out of the FEI Grand Prix Speciale competition, including those who tie for 15th place. Again, if all three riders of a team qualify they may all participate. Horse Sport Enews SIGN UP For exact times and additional competition information, visit www.equestrian2008.org, or www.fei.org/olympics.