Congratulations Lyndal – so well deserved! Here is the announcement from Equestrian Australia:
“Lyndal Oatley’s dream of representing Australia at an Olympic Games has been a 12 year work in progress and after a succession of strong performances at recent Australian team nomination events the 32 year old Dressage rider is on the verge of realising her long held ambition.
Lyndal and her ride, the 11 year old bay stallion Sandro Boy, are the highest placed Australian combination at the end of the two round nomination process which will see them automatically nominated* to the AOC for a position on the three member Dressage team.
The team’s remaining two members will be chosen by national selectors over the coming days.
This is not the first time that an Oatley has been nominated to an Australian Dressage team. Lyndal’s cousin Kristy, who is also contesting team selection, is already a two time Olympian having represented Australia at the Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Olympics.
Lyndal started her Olympic journey after watching Kristy compete at the 2000 Olympic Games and she couldn’t be happier about her nomination to the team and the chance to ride into the Greenwich Park arena in London.
“This is a fabulous dream come true and I am one happy girl. It has been a long journey to get to this point and I am thrilled to be going to my first Olympic Games,” she said.
Lyndal and Sandro Boy were cool under pressure in last night’s CDI3* Grand Prix at Compiegne, France. The combination scored 70.894% which saw them finish in fourth position overall.
“I’m so happy with his (Sandro Boy) consistency and his performance, he performs so well under pressure and he tries with every step, he’s got a great attitude and I’m thrilled with how we performed today,” Lyndal said.
“I’m excited that we’ll get the opportunity to compete in London,” she added.
Equestrian Australia’s High Performance Manager Brett Mace said the London bound Australian Dressage team is shaping up to be a smart outfit.
“Our riders showed a lot of promise today particularly in the way they handled the pressure. Competing for a position on an Olympic Games team is an intense situation to be faced with and our riders handled it well which is a really positive thing to see leading into London,” said Mace
“The overall performance by all of our riders was very high and this is evident when we look at the leaderboard and see three riders in the top eight,” he added.
Joining Lyndal in the top eight was her cousin Kristy and Clive (68.234%) and triple Olympian Mary Hanna and Sancette (68.234%), with experience making all the difference for both riders in last night’s all important nomination event.
Six combinations will be in action again in tomorrow’s (tonight – Australian local time) Grand Prix Special which will commence at 7pm AEST. Kristy Oatley and Mary Hanna will also start in the Grand Prix Freestyle which will get underway at 2:30pm Sunday AEST.
Following this, Australian selectors will meet to decide which combinations will fill the remaining two positions on the team which will represent Australia in London.”
The selection of Lyndal and Sandro Boy will, of course, be dependent on Sandro Boy passing the Vet Check tomorrow.