From a mankini ban to the Olympics

Equestrian Legend, Shane Rose
Australian Equestrian legend, Shane Rose, Picture: Tony Gough

A turbulent few months which included being crushed by a horse and suspended for riding in a mankini won’t stand in the way of equestrian legend Shane Rose trying to win a fourth Olympic medal after being locked in for a fourth Games in Paris.

Rose, 51, was locked in to the nine-member squad which includes history-making Edwina Tops-Alexander who will become Australia’s first five-time Olympian showjumper.

Just four months after a riding accident which left Rose with multiple left-side rib fractures, right elbow fractures, a fracture of the femur (requiring a rod) and fractures of the front and back of the pelvis and sacrum, he paid tribute to the team of people who helped get him Olympic-ready.

Rose, who already has two silver medals and one bronze from Games appearances in Beijing 2008, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, spent time in a wheelchair after the accident such was the extent of the injuries.

The accident happened just weeks after Rose made headlines in February when he took part in a fancy dress ride at an event and a member of the crowd made an anonymous complaint about him wearing a mankini while riding.

Shane Rose after mankini stunt. Picture: Facebook
Shane Rose after mankini stunt. Picture: Facebook

He was stood down and apologised, but quickly cleared of any wrongdoing by Equestrian Australia, and is now eyeing off another Olympic medal.

“It is always an honour to be selected to represent Australia but there is something very special about being chosen on the Australian Olympic team,” Rose said.

“For me, it has been a rough and rocky road to get to this point. It is a huge relief to gain selection.

“Our Eventing team is strong and together if we all perform at our best we have a great chance of standing on that podium. I look forward to the challenge and hope to make everyone who has supported me on this journey proud.

“So many people have contributed to having me 100% fit and ready to perform,” he said.

For the first time, Australia will compete with an all-female Jumping team with Tops-Alexander joined by debutantes Hilary Scott and Thaisa Erwin.

Australia's Edwina Tops-Alexander on her horse Lintea Tequila . / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE LOPEZ
Australia's Edwina Tops-Alexander on her horse Lintea Tequila . / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE LOPEZ

Australia has a proud Equestrian pedigree at the Olympic Games contributing 14 medals (6 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze).

Ready to attend her first Games, Scott said it was a “childhood dream”.

“I am honoured to be selected to represent Australia at the Paris Olympics with my loyal partner Oaks Milky Way. I’m extremely grateful and proud of our entire team who have made this possible,” she said.

“Growing up in country Australia it was my childhood dream, and incredible to think it is now a reality. Kids, don’t give up on your dreams.”

The team is subject to an ongoing appeal by a non-nominated athlete in the Dressage discipline.


Simone Pearce, Jayden Brown, William Matthew, Chris Burton , Kevin McNab, Shane Rose, Edwina Tops-Alexander, Hilary Scott, Thaisa Erwin