Amazing Weekend at Sydney CDI with Silbermond

John Lieutenant Memorial trophyWhat an amazing weekend I have had with Silbermond.  Not only winning the Intermediate Freestyle but also being awarded the John Lieutenant Memorial Trophy – this award is presented to the individual horse/rider combination obtaining the best two (2) official scores.   Silbermond is a very special horse and we are having a lot of fun together. My huge thanks to his wonderful owners for allowing me the ride and for the incredible support they give me.

Here is the video of the freestyle:

Ride Well!

Rachael

Announcement by Equestrian Australia – Olympic Dressage Combinations

Hi Everyone!

This announcement was made by Equestrian Australia today.  Nothing final as yet it seems.  Congratulations to all three nominees.

“EQUESTRIAN AUSTRALIA OLYMPIC NOMINATIONS
DRESSAGE

On Thursday 7 June, Equestrian Australia’s national Dressage selectors identified the three horse and rider combinations to be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection to the 2012 Australian Olympic Team.

The horse and rider combinations are:

Lyndal Oatley and Sandro Boy

Kristy Oatley and Clive

Mary Hanna and Sancette

Equestrian Australia’s nomination policy gives athletes 48 hours to lodge an appeal against the nominated team.  Equestrian Australia can confirm that during that period, a rider has lodged an appeal which will be heard by an independent tribunal in due course.

During this time Equestrian Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee are unable to make further comment.

The Australian Olympic Committee will announce the Dressage team’s final selection.”

No date was given for the announcement by the Australian Olympic Committee.

Click here for the original announcement.

Have your say…….what are your thoughts?

Ride well!

Rachael

Lyndal Oatley set to make her Olympic Games debut

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.

Ride Well!

Rachael

via Lyndal Oatley set to make her Olympic Games debut.

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

Equestrian Australia Promotional Video for the London Olympics

Equestrian Australia and Peter Haynes have done a great job with this video for the Aussie Equestrian team for the London Olympics.

Thinking of you all on the Aussie Dressage Shadow team competing for final selection at Compiegne this weekend.  Such a good team.  You all deserve to make it.  Miss you lots. Ride well.

Will get the results up here just as soon as I get them.

Go Aussie Go!

Rachael

A big “Thank You” to all my supporters

Thank you for all your messages of support for me and Jaybee Alabaster since the announcement by Equestrian Australia yesterday.  Please accept this as my personal thanks to everyone.

It has been a very disappointing and sad time for my team, both here in Europe and back home in Australia. I would like to thank John and Bev Edwards of Jaybee Farm, for giving  me the ride on Jaybee Alabaster. The owners of horses in Olympic contention have obviously put many years into a long term project, such as producing an International Grand Prix horse and are there for both the highs and lows. Jaybee Alabaster, or Bastie as those close refer to him, has proven to be an exceptional International Grand Prix horse. We have all had some wonderful success over the years. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be this time around for the London Olympics 2012.

Speaking on behalf of my whole support team, I would like to send a huge “THANKYOU” to everyone for their wonderful support over the years and particularly during our time in Europe. We have have been truly over-whelmed and humbled by the kindness shown, both from back home and here in Germany, where the hospitality and encouragement has been fantastic.

On a brighter note, the rest of the Australian Dressage Shadow Team will be competing in Compiegne, France this week. This is the final nomination event for these riders and horses to make the Australian Olympic Team. The very best of luck to these combinations: Hayley Beresford and BelissimoNRW, Mary Hanna and Sancette, Lyndal Oatley and Potifar, Brett Parbery and Lord of Loxley, Rozzie Ryan and GV Bullwinkle, Chantal Wigan and Ferero, and Kristie Oatley and Ronan. My thoughts are with you all.

Ride well. I look forward to seeing the results.

Rachael

My Olympic bid is over

Hi all,

Sadly this is true.

Here is todays announcement from Equestrian Australia about my withdrawal, in case you hadn’t caught up with the news.

EQUESTRIAN AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY

“Rachael Sanna out of Olympic contention.

Sydney 2000 Olympian Rachael Sanna is now out of contention for the London 2012 Olympic Games after her number one horse Jaybee Alabaster was forced to withdraw based on veterinary advice.

Sanna is currently in Europe with Alabaster to contest the Dressage Nomination events for the London Games, and despite contesting the first nomination event in Mannheim have since been advised not to continue.

While the injury sustained is not long term, Sanna admitted it was just a case they had run out of time for the Games.

“It is hugely disappointing for me and my wonderful supporters, but we have been trying to resolve the issue, and it has finally caught up with us.

“While the issue is not long term and will be fine, unfortunately it won’t be resolved in time for the Olympic Games.

“I would like to thank everyone who has tried to get us to the Games, especially my groom Helen Bray who has worked tirelessly, but we have just run out of time. We gave it our best shot”, said Rachael.
While Sanna’s departure from the nomination process is a loss for the Australian team, Equestrian Australia’s High Performance Manager Brett Mace said the Dressage shadow team showed strong depth.

“While it is an unfortunate blow losing one of Australia’s leading combinations over the past two years, such is the quality of combinations we currently have contesting the selection events, I am confident we will still have a very strong team for the Olympics and achieve what we have set out to do in London,” said Mace.

Selectors together with the remaining combinations will now turn their attention to the final nomination event will take place at the Compeigne CDI in France from 31 May – 3 June 2012.”

I wish the rest of the Australian team the very best wishes for the selection event next weekend at Compiegne and then for the London Olympics.  Go well guys – will be with you all the way.

I will be heading back home very shortly.  Looking forward to catching up with many of you then.

Rachael

Equestrian Australia Report from Mannheim

Here is the report from Equestrian Australia:

Olympic Selection heats up for Aussie Dressage Athletes

Saturday 6 May, Mannheim, Germany: The bid for Olympic selection has heated up for Australia’s elite dressage riders with the first of the Nomination events getting underway overnight at the Mannheim CDI in Germany.

Rain storms and cold weather didn’t dampen the mood among the Aussies who pulled out all stops to impress selectors who were onsite.

Highest ranked Aussie of the day was Lyndal Oatley and Sandro Boy who recorded a score of 69.723%.  Oatley was faced with the worst of the conditions, with the rain storm hitting just as she was due to enter the arena.  With proceedings called to a halt, she retreated to the stables before coming back out and giving a strong performance.

“I feel very happy with my performance and the decision to go with Sandro Boy.  His performance really justified my belief in him.  Bring on the special tomorrow!” said Oatley.

With the top 15 going through to tomorrow’s (Sunday) Grand Prix Special, Oatley who finished 7th overall will be joined by fellow Aussie Hayley Beresford and Belissimo who finished 11th on 68.872% and her cousin Kristy Oately and Ronan who finished 13th place on 68.553%.

For the remaining Australian riders, they will now turn their attention to the second and final Olympic Nomination event in Compeigne CDI (FRA) from 31 May -3 June 2012.

National Performance Director for Dressage Deb MacNicol, said she was very pleased with the performances by the Aussie team.

“We had eight very good horses compete today in a good, quality field and it was pleasing to see the strong results,” she said.

“They came up against very tough weather with the severe rain and cold – but they were able to come out and perform extremely well.

“Today’s performances again showed the strength of horses Australia has and given that we lost two of our top horses in the last 12 months (Victory Salute and Relampago do Retiro), it shows great depth in our Dressage program,” said MacNicol.

Rachael

PS  “Good luck to Lyndal, Hayley and Kristie for the Grand Prix Special”

Here are the Aussie Results:

https://rachaeldownsdressage.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/results-for-mannheim-australian-dressage-olympic-qualifier/

via Olympic selection heats up for Aussie dressage athletes.

A Massive Honour – Domestic Athlete of the Year – Equestrian Australia

Thank you very, very much to Equestrian Australia for this award at the awards night tonight.  It is a massive honour for me to have won this award for Domestic Athlete of the Year.  I wish I could be there with you to accept the award personally.

Many, many thanks to my parents, my children, the owners of my horse – John and Bev Edwards – to my groom Helen Bray and to the many, many supporters around Australia.  I would also like to thank my sponsors.  Thank you too to Jaybee Alabaster.  Without him all this would not be possible.  It was wonderful that he has been recognised tonight also with the award for Domestic Horse of the Year.

I look forward to seeing you all shortly – hopefully in Europe.

I hope you all had a great night at the Awards.

Rachael