Report from Compiegne in Dressage News

Congratulations to all the Aussie riders who competed.  Qualifers for such big events bring a lot of extra pressure on the riders.  Whoever is selected I am sure we are going to have a great team for London. It will be a hard job for the selectors I am sure.  Team to be announced on 6th June.  Here is a full report from Compiegne from Dressage News:

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Lyndal Oatley and Sandro Boy on Saturday all but secured a start in Olympic dressage competition beginning in exactly two months with the top finish of Australians in the Grand Prix at Compiègne, France, for two successive victories in the two selection trials for her nation.

Lyndal and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Hit x Utopia x Argentinus) scored a personal best of 70.894 per cent to place fourth overall in the CDI3*, surpassing the 70.468 per cent the pair received at Hagen, Germany, in April. The German-based Aussie also won the Grand Prix on her family’s Sandro Boy in the first selection trial at Mannheim, Germany, a month ago.

Australian Olympic veteran Mary Hanna on Sancette was the second placed Australian horse and rider with 68.638 per cent in seventh place overall with Lyndal’s cousin, Kristy Oatley and Clive, also based in Germany, the third highest pair with 68.234 per cent in eighth place. Clive did not compete in the first trial at Mannheim.

Rozzie Ryan and GV Bullwinkle were next on 67.851 per cent, then Kristy and Ronan II on 67.490 per cent, followed by Brett Parbery on Lord of Loxley with 67.106 per cent and the German-based Hayley Beresford and Bellissimo NRW on 67.085 per cent. Other Australians were Mary Hanna and Umbro on 65.787 per cent and Chantal Wigan and Ferero on 64.915 per cent.

Saturday’s ride was in perfect sunny weather in contrast to Mannheim when a deluge as Lyndal and Sandro Boy entered the arena forced the pair to seek shelter. Despite the rain, they were the highest placed Australians and prompted Lyndal to jokingly refer to her horse as “Storm Boy.”

She and Sandro Boy was the only Australian combination to score above 70 per cent in either the two Grand Prix and the Olympic Grand Prix Special in the so-called nomination events.

“I am very happy with Sandro Boy,” said Lyndal who rode on her first Australian championship team with Potifar at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.

“Today was a great effort for the entire Aussie team and things now will be very interesting.”

Carol and Andrew Oatley, Lyndal’s parents and owners of Sandro Boy, returned to watch this weekend’s competition, as they did at Mannheim. Her sister, Nicky, and her husband were also there.

“So I felt the love well and truly.”

Patrik Kittel, her husband and one of the world’s elite riders who has already been nominated by Sweden for their Olympic team, flew in and out of Compiègne.

“Everyone really put in a huge effort to be there for me and I’m so glad I was able to do a good job,” she said.

The Australian selection procedures are a long list of variables–everything from arena footing, to weather to team spirit and numerous other factors, plus the caveat: “…Nomination Events do not automatically position one horse and Athlete combination above another in terms of nomination.”

All horses in contention for nomination to the Australian Olympic Committee will undergo a final veterinary examination on Monday, June 4.

Equestrian Australia, the Australian equestrian federation, will advise the Australian Olympic Committee of the dressage team for the Olympics, on Wednesday, June 6. The deadline for nominations is June 22.”

Rachael

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