Wellington, Fla. – June 28, 2016 – Every four years, fans and competitors prepare for the highly anticipated Olympic Games. While fans eagerly await the chance to wave their countries’ flag and cheer on their favorites, athletes train rigorously for the chance to wear their countries’ colors and compete against the best in the world for a gold medal.
For Matt Williams and the Wyndmont, Inc. team, the training has officially paid off.
It was about a month ago, when Williams got word that he had been named to the short list to represent his native country of Australia during the Games. However, Williams can now rest assured that his spot on the Australian Show Jumping Team is secure.
“I'm very grateful to be selected for a third time,” Williams said. “This Olympic selection probably means the most to me as it has taken a lot to get to this point. The last four years since London have had a lot of ups and downs.”
He will proudly wear his country’s green and gold colors aboard Wyndmont’s top-performing Dutch Warmblood, Valinski S, co-owned by Mark and Carolyn Alter as well as Ronnie Beard and Michael Dorman. The pair has been successful, producing top results at some of the most distinguished competitions, most notably winning the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix at HITS Ocala.
Valinski S was originally trained and ridden by Wyndmont’s Michael Dorman. After meeting Williams during a horse show in 2015, Dorman decided to hand the reins over to him, recognizing their incredible potential together. Dorman continues to ride Valinski S regularly, and assists Williams at the ring with Ronnie Beard when they are competing.
“We are very excited to see all of the hard work by the entire team at Wyndmont, including co-owners Mark and Carolyn Alter, pay off,” said Beard. “At Wyndmont, we believe in achieving excellence in the sport, and thanks everyone behind Matt and Valinski S we were able to make this dream a reality. Wyndmont has helped numerous athletes represent their country on the world stage, and we are very excited to be traveling to Rio next month.”
Williams and the 14-year-old bay gelding also secured third-place finishes in the $216,000 Lugano Diamonds CSIO4* Grand Prix during the Winter Equestrian Festival and in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix during the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.
This will be Williams third appearance in the Olympic Games, but his first aboard Valinski S.
“Each Olympics I've had different horses, but the most important thing I think is to know how to get your horse to peak at the right time for such a big event,” Williams said. “I only got the ride on Valinski about eight months ago. When I first rode him, I immediately had a bond with him, but never knew he would be as good as he’s turning out to be. He’s really risen to all his challenges so far and keeps fighting for me every time I ask for a bit more.”
Williams made his Olympic debut in Beijing in 2008, along with Edwina Tops-Alexander. The two riders competed in London in 2012, and will be making their third consecutive trip to the Games again this summer.
The two other spots on the team, have been filled by Scott Keach and James Paterson-Robinson This will not be the first trip to the Games for either of these riders. It will be their second. Keach last competed for a gold medal 28 years ago, riding on the Australian Eventing Team in the Seoul 1988 Olympics. Paterson-Robinson is riding for his second consecutive Games, last competing in London in 2012.
“I think I have a great horse, and we have a very good team this year,” Williams said. “In our sport it's very hard to predict these things, because anything can happen with horses. If we can get three good team scores each day, we have a good chance of doing well.”
While legendary horseman, Ronnie Beard, travels with Williams to Brazil, Michael Dorman will remain stateside working with the team's young horses and training clients. Founded by Beard with Dorman, Wyndmont Inc. provides classical horsemanship to annual and seasonal equestrian clientele. For more information, visit Wyndmont.com or find them on Facebook!