World Cup Dressage Finals have started in Gothenburg

Here is the link to the Eurodressage commentary on the World Cup Dressage finals in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Click here:  World Cup Dressage Finals

The results so far are:

Results 1

FEI TV is providing live coverage .  Here is the link:  World Cup Dressage Live Coverage

Looks like there are a few challenges to Adelinde Cornelissen this year.

Ride Well!

Rachael

Related Links:

Desperados out of 2013 World Cup Dressage Finals

Sandro Boy’s minor injury rules Lyndal Oatley out of 2013 World Cup

Rachael Sanna ready to contest 2012 World Cup Finals

2011 Pacific League win for Rachael Sanna and Jaybee Alabaster

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Meet Albert – Part 2

Here is another short clip with some more of Albert’s background and my plans for him in his dressage career.  I will be keeping you up to date with his progress as we train together and I bring him on to Grand Prix – if everything goes well 🙂

If you missed the first video you can Click Here to watch.

Ride Well!

Rachael

Aussie Dressage riders gear up for final Olympic nomination event at Compiegne

This is a copy of an article from Equestrian Life:

“We are just days away from knowing which combinations will comprise Australia’s Dressage team at the 2012 London Olympic Games but before the team is revealed one final challenge stands in the way.

The second and final Dressage nomination event is taking place this weekend and riders have assembled in France to compete in the Compiegne CDI3*

A good result this weekend could put riders on the path to London and Olympic glory.

Lyndal Oatley is hoping she and her horse Sandro Boy, aptly nicknamed Storm Boy after they faced disastrous conditions at the first nomination event in Manheim (GER), fare better with the weather this weekend

“We have prepared well for this event and I am ready for whatever heads my way, although I would prefer better weather than in Mannheim,” Lyndal said. “I have checked the weather forecast and there is a chance of rain over the Grand Prix days so I’m hoping “Storm Boy” is not facing weather like last time but just in case I have extra gloves and a lot of towels and am off to find gumboots,” she added.

If Lyndal gets the call up from selectors, London will be her first Olympic Games.

“The feelings I have at the moment are exactly the same as they were leading up to Mannheim,” she said. “I feel anxious, excited but also focused on getting the job done.  We all want one of the three places on the team and we know what we need to do to get there.”

With Dressage rider Rachael Sanna withdrawing from the event after veterinary advice sidelined her horse, the Bev and John Edwards owned Jaybee Alabaster, there are seven riders vying for three positions on the Dressage team.

Dressage combinations competing at Compiegne CDI3* 1 – 3 June 2012

Brett Parbery –  Lord of Loxley

Chantal Wigan –  Ferero

Hayley Beresford –  Belissimo NRW

Kristy Oatley – Clive

Kristy Oatley –  Ronan 2

Lyndal Oatley –  Sandro Boy

Mary Hanna –  Sancette

Mary Hanna – Umbro

Rozzie Ryan –  GV Bullwinkle”

Go Aussies Go!

Rachael

via Equestrian Life – Dressage riders gear up for final nomination event.

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

Interview with Ricky MacMillan at the Saddleworld Dressage Festival

I enjoyed doing this interview with Ricky MacMillan, from Equestrian Life, at last years Saddleworld Dressage Festival.  Doesn’t seem all that long ago.  We were talking about Jaybee Alabaster, Clemens Dierks and our preparation for this year’s amazing events in Europe, especially the FEI Dressage World Cup and the London Olympics.  Now we are in the middle of it all.

Click here to see Ricky interviewing Kieren Perkins about his role as the Equestrian Liaison Officer at the London Olympics.  I gave up swimming to ride Dressage and he gave up horses to swim!  He clearly made a good choice.  Would love to achieve what he has done – amazing guy!

Rachael

Time Off in Dusseldorf

One of the great privileges of riding for Australia overseas is that I get to see some beautiful places and to learn about them.  With only Jaybee Alabaster to work with, that means I can spend time with him in the morning and then have some time exploring and enjoying the country.

Fortunately the rain held off today.  We had a lovely wander around Dusseldorf and dare I say, Thai for lunch.  Aldstadt, the Old Town, was my favourite part of Dusseldorf. There was lots of work being done on the buildings, so it was difficult to get photos without scaffolding in the pics.  Also the elections are on Sunday, so heaps of people about at rallys to listen to government officials and a big police presence.

The Old Town is all cobblestone streets and cute shops, with a farmers market in the middle and heaps of eating, drinking or just to hang out type of street cafes.  It is amazing what you see, just people-watching while having a coffee.

It is an easy city to get your bearings, so off we wandered through the Old Town, Kornigsalle and along the Rheine river. The river was full of barges carrying their cargo and tourists along with the locals, just watching them go by.

I discovered I am not a fan of driving along-side the trams. It is easy enough to jump onto the red double-decker bus that goes past tourist highlights.  You can get on and off as much as you like.  Jump on a tram or even take a rickshaw ride.  We prefered walking and checking out the sights.

Check out the bread in this bakery. Locals and tourist alike, just stand and stare in through the window and discuss which is the best bread.  We had 4 locals tell us which bread to get, as it was “the best.”  None of them picked the same bread. What a dilemma!!

Thanks for all those great caption ideas!  Keep them coming! Link here

Rachael

Here are my secrets to handling a major competition.

I have always found that after a major competition it is vital to wind down, have a great laugh with friends and family and just generally relax and kick back.  That brings some balance back into life. All this familiar to all of you who compete.  After the training, concentration and preparation for the Dressage Olympic Qualifier in Mannheim – plus the stress of a big event, especially travelling miles on autobahns (scary!), getting to the venue, settling Jaybee Alabaster and ourselves in new surroundings……. and then the build up to the ride………..we managed to find the best place ever to have fun.

We spent the day at KETTELER HOF kids fun park in Haltern am See. There are twelve acres of pure big kid (and little kid) heaven!

Here are some pics!

What are the ways you wind down after a comp?  Leave a reply I would love to hear………….

Ride well and most of all have fun!

Rachael

Results for Mannheim Australian Dressage Olympic Qualifier

Hi all!  Here are the final results for Mannheim tonight:-

1.  Lyndal Oatley and Sandro Boy  69.723%

2. Hayley Beresford and Belissimo NRW  68.872%

3.  Kristy Oatley and Ronan  68.553%

4.  Chantal Wigan and Ferero  66.702%

5.  Mary Hanna and Sancette  66.362%

6.  Rozzie Ryan and Gv Bullwinkle  65.553%

7.  Rachael and Jaybee Alabaster  63.532%

8.  Brett Parberry and Lord of Loxley  60.128%

“Congratulations to Lyndal Oatley!  First of the Aussies and seventh overall.”

Rachael

All 8 Aussie combinations are starters for the Mannheim Grand Prix Tonight!

Sorry there haven’t been too many updates from Mannheim but the wi-fi at the hotel is not working too well so this is coming to you by carrier pigeon!  I’ve got some photos too but can’t get them through.  Will post them when I can.  Everyone is having the same problem.

Mannheim is a very big show. Over 5 hours of Grand Prix altogether.  Trot up went well for the Aussies so we are all starting.  Unfortunately there is no live TV stream but here is the link on my blog to the start list with riding times for the Aussie riders:

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

We have two selectors here, high performance manager and chef d’equip. We had another quick ride in the main arena at 6am this morning. Very glamorous sport this dressage!  Do need some sleep soon. Then back to the hotel for breakfast and a bit of a rest then back to the show by 1.00pm to watch the start of the Grand Prix.  Apparently it could be only the top 12 combinations to go through to the Grand Prix Special tomorrow.  And there is no freestyle. Fingers crossed I have a good Grand Prix. All horses seem to be in form and all Aussie riders are in good spirits.  Jaybee Alabaster is going well.

There is a huge market next door called the “Maimarket” that provides great shopping for
anything from house to farm equipment.  Mind you I have not had much time to get around it!

Rachael