Start List for the Grand Prix Freestyle

The final Olympic Dressage event – the Grand Prix Freestyle – is tomorrow starting at 9.30pm Sydney time.  The individual gold medals will be decided.  It should be a fantastic competition.  Here is the start list:

Ride Well!


How the 2012 Olympic Dressage Competition Works

I’ve been asked a lot recently how the dressage competition will run at the London Olympics.  This is the best description I have found from Eurodressage.  It explains it all pretty much.

>>>>>>>“The Dressage event at the 2012 Olympic Games in Greenwich Park starts with the first Horse Inspection on 31 July 2012 and brings the equestrian competitions at London 2012 to a close on 9 August 2012.

The Team medals will be decided after the Grand Prix Special on 7 August, which is also the second Individual qualifier from which the top-18, and those tied for 18th place, will go through to the Freestyle Final two days later. The Freestyle to Music is a stand-alone competition from which the individual champion will emerge.

Teams consist of just three riders, and with all three scores counting there is absolutely no margin for error. And there is no breathing space either.  Previously the team result was based on performances in the Grand Prix alone.  However at London 2012, for the very first time, the results of both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special will be combined to decide the final team classification.

The Dressage Tests are the FEI Grand Prix, the FEI Grand Prix Special and the FEI Grand Prix level Freestyle – and you can find them on the following links :  Grand Prix (Edition 2009):  Grand Prix Special (Edition 2011) (update 22.09.11) and Freestyle to Music Grand Prix (Edition1999, revision 2009).

The draw for the first class, the FEI Grand Prix, will be computerised and will take place after the First Horse Inspection. Starting spots for individuals will be decided first, followed by the order-of-go for teams. Individuals are drawn in reverse order of the World Dressage Rankings list in two groups, the highest-ranked riders drawn to compete on the second day of competition. Chefs d’Equipe will declare the running order of their team members no later than one hour before the draw takes place.

The second competition, the Grand Prix Special, is limited to, and compulsory for, the seven best teams in the Grand Prix along with the leading 11 Individual riders. If all three athletes of a team qualify, they may all participate. While last-minute substitutions are allowed in the Grand Prix, they are not allowed for the Grand Prix Special. A maximum of three athletes per nation can compete in the Freestyle Final which has long established itself as the most popular competition from a public perspective.

For the very first time, a Judges Supervisory Panel (JSP) will be in place to ensure that any scoring anomalies are immediately corrected. David Hunt (GBR), Dieter Schule (GER) and Jan Peeters (NED) have been appointed to the JSP, while the Ground Jury consists of Stephen Clarke (GBR) as President, Maribel Alonso (MEX), Evi Eisenhardt (GER), Wim Ernes (NED), Gary Rockwell (USA), Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA) and Leif Tornblad (DEN). Poland’s Wojtek Markowski is FEI Technical Delegate.”<<<<<<

Ride Well!  Go the Aussies!


Text by Equestrian Australia

via How the 2012 Olympic Dressage Competition Will Play Out | eurodressage.

Judging the Olympic Dressage – Interview with President of the Ground jury

Here is a really interesting interview with Stephen Clarke, President of the Ground Jury, about the judging of the Olympic Dressage.  I love the quote from Eric Lette (former chairman of the FEI Dressage Committee – how true :-).  This was how it was reported by Eurodressage.

>>>>  President of the Ground Jury for the upcoming London olympics, Stephen Clarke and his team are busy preparing for their difficult, yet rewarding task, of deciding who will take home the gold!

“I can still remember Eric Lette (previous Chairman of the FEI Dressage Committee) once joking about the definition of a dressage judge…..” says Stephen. “He put it very well…that a dressage judge is the person that all the riders say ‘good morning’ to, but only the winner says ‘good evening’!”

With the games kicking off in less than a month’s time, Clarke says the feeling in London is one of great excitement, despite some negativity in the press.

“There is a general feeling of optimism right throughout London, and thankfully the negativity we are witnessing is NOT from the equestrian press. It’s instead, the general press, and their commentary regarding potential security/ transport problems etc. It’s just the usual disappointing British gutter press….gloom and doom stuff… You sometimes get the feeling that they actually want the Games to fail rather than succeed….It makes me mad!”

General press aside, the dressage world; riders, judges, horses, supporters…are staying focused and positive… ready to be welcomed by a world class stage!

“The Equestrian events in London will have perfect facilities, with fabulous views of the city,” says Clarke. “And hopefully these venues will be host to the highest level of dressage ever witnessed at an Olympic Games!”

Having scored gold class seats as the world’s top dressage riders take to the arena, Clarke says his team are well acquainted, and fully ready to take on the challenge ahead.

“We have been judging many major competitions together all year and have already a very good “team” feeling amongst us.”

But to ensure the team are all on the same page, the judges must meet not only on, but off the dressage arena.

“At every show where we officiate together we have several formal and informal meetings, in order to focus our thoughts, with the aim of ensuring we all prioritize the same criteria.”

With seven judges, including Clarke, being selected for London, I wondered what would happen if one of them was….stuck in traffic?

“We have chosen a reserve judge in case one of us gets sick…..Mary Seefried of Australia is the Reserve Judge, and has been included already in all discussions.”

After the recent controversy over displaying the running total on a scoreboard during the test for all the judges to see, Clarke is glad London will not be working with this system!

“Nothing will be visible to any of the judges during the tests. For each of us, our task is to judge each and every exercise as we see it. I am very happy not to have any outside distractions.”

However, the other recent controversial decision to introduce a half point judging system, will be incorporated into the olympic format, and hopefully IF USED CORRECTLY, will help to effectively rank the world’s top dressage pairs!

“I think half points are ok, as long as they are used appropriately, and not as something to avoid commitment.”

Clarke says there is lots to enjoy about Judging, and whilst there are some negatives, judging at an olympics is like being offered a first class VIEW of the action!

“There is lots of excitement, seeing wonderful performances close up. In fact we do have the best seats in the house! I also enjoy the challenge of “getting it right” and being fair to every rider by scoring as correctly and as accurately as possible, every single movement of the test. I do however dislike some of the negativity that surrounds our role as judges, but we as experienced judges are used to that, and are able to handle the pressure without taking any criticisms personally.”

And as for the crystal ball question that is on everyone’s mind.

“As President of the Ground Jury I cannot tell you who will be the nation and horse to beat… I’m afraid I have to say “no comment!”” <<<<

Go Mary Hanna, Lyndal Oatley and Kristy Oatley!

Ride Well!


via Ready, Set, Clarke! | eurodressage.

Equestrian Olympics Schedule

Here is the Equestrian Olympics schedule for London 2012:

Saturday 28 July

Eventing Individual and Team Dressage – Day 1

Sunday 29 July

Eventing Individual and Team Dressage – Day 2

Monday 30 July

Eventing Individual and Team Cross-Country

Tuesday 31 July

Eventing (Medal) Individual and Team Jumping

Thursday 2 August 🙂

Dressage Team Competition – Day 1

Friday 3 August 🙂

Dressage Team Competition – Day 2

Saturday 4 August

Jumping Individual and Team Qualifier for Round 1

Sunday 5 August

Jumping Team Finals – Round 1

Monday 6 August

Jumping (Medal) Team Finals – Round 2

Tuesday 7 August 🙂

Dressage (Medal) Team Final Competition

Wednesday 8 August

Jumping Individual Finals – Round A

Jumping Individual Finals – Round B

Jumping (Medal) Individual Finals – Round Jump-off

Thursday 9 August 🙂

Dressage (Medal) Individual Grand Prix Freestyle

Ride Well Aussies!


via Equestrian Olympic Schedule | Latest Horse News | Your Horse.

Australian Olympic Dressage Team off to London – Ride well!

Congratulations to our Australian Olympic Dressage Team.

I sincerely wish Rozzie Ryan, Mary Hanna, Lyndal Oatley and Kristy Oatley all the very best for the London Olympics. All four combinations are extremely deserving and absolutely belong and have earned the right to represent Australia in London.

Safe travels for you and your horses. Have some fun and enjoy the experience.

Stay Safe and Ride Well!


Hayley Beresford Loses Appeal for Australian Olympic Selection | eurodressage

Hayley Beresford’s appeal to be included on the Australian Olympic Dressage team has been overturned.  This is how it was reported by Eurodressage:

“Australian Olympic reserve rider Hayley Beresford has lost her appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. The German based Beresford appealed because she did not get an Australian Olympic team spot.

Beresford, a 2008 Australian Olympic team rider, and Zuchthof Schmidt’s Westfalian licensed stallion Belissimo scored the third highest qualification score at the two official Olympic selection trials in Mannheim and Compiegne but was not granted a team spot by selectors Joanne Fowler, Maria Schewennesen, and Virginia Creed. The selectors made last minute changes to the selection rules to “legalize” their current team selection.

“I have lost my appeal and last chance to represent Australia at the Olympics. I am deeply devastated and at this moment cannot find the words to explain the selection process,” a very disappointed and saddened Beresford said.

“I wish team mates Kristy and Lyndal Oatley and Mary Hanna the very best and will endeavor to positively support you as the reserve until the Games.”

At the 2012 CDIO Aachen yesterday Beresford scored the highest mark of all Australian riders in the CDIO Grand Prix, beating both Olympic nominated Lyndal and Kristy Oatley.  Despite being selected on the dressage team for Aachen, Olympic team rider Mary Hanna elected not to contest this year’s event with Sancette (by Sandro Hit).”

Best wishes to Lyndal and Kristy Oatley and Mary Hanna for your preparations.

Go Aussie Go!

Ride Well!


via Hayley Beresford Loses Appeal with CAS on Australian Olympic Selection | eurodressage.

Amanda Ross interviews Ricky MacMillan about the Australian Olympic Dressage Selection

Equestrian Life interviewed Ricky MacMillan about her thoughts on the final selection for the Aussie Olympic Dressage team for London.

Ride Well!


Introducing my young boy Cederic!

Introducing Cederic my three-and-a-half year old gelding.  His mother is Yardley Charisma, my first international Grand Prix horse, so he is particularly special.  He has been broken in for about a year but has been in the paddock for the last seven months while I was overseas for my Olympic bid.  I am going to bring him back into work and thought it might be interesting to share some videos with you as we get ready for his first outing.

Ride Well!


Britain Names Olympic Dressage Team

Britain has named its London Olympics Dressage Team.  The team is: Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro and Carl Hester with Uthopia.  Richard Davison and Artemis are selected to contest the individual competition.  This is an amazing team and must be in contention for a medal – possibly Gold.  Congratulations to all the team on your selection.  This is shaping up to be an amazing competition at Greenwich.  Can’t wait!

Here is an excellent article from Equestrian Life after the team was announced:

“The British Olympic Association (BOA) yesterday confirmed the four dressage athletes and their horses who will compete for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Congratulations to the following athletes who have been selected to Team GB today to contest the team and individual competitions are:
• Laura Bechtolsheimer (27) from Ampney St Peter, Gloucestershire riding Mistral Hojris, owned by Dr Wilfried & Mrs Ursula Bechtolsheimer and rider
• Charlotte Dujardin (25) from Newent, Gloucestershire riding Valegro, owned by Mr Carl Hester & Mrs Roly Luard
• Carl Hester (44) from Newent, Gloucestershire riding Uthopia, owned by Mr Carl Hester and Mrs Sasha Stewart
Congratulations to the athlete selected to Team GB to contest the individual competition is:
• Richard Davison (57) from Combridge, Staffordshire riding Artemis, owned by the Countess of Derby
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“It gives me great pleasure to announce these dressage athletes as selected to Team GB for London 2012. They represent an experienced and very strong team, and have a superb opportunity to win Great Britain’s first ever Olympic dressage medal.
“All of the riders have experience of winning medals at international competition level, and the progress the dressage team have made recently has been impressive, with the highlight being an historic gold medal at the 2011 European Championships.
“The home advantage and fantastic support the riders will receive from the British public will give them all a lift, and hopefully spur them on to memorable performances at the iconic Greenwich Park venue this summer.”
Team GB Equestrian Team Leader Will Connell said:
“It’s great to have it confirmed that we head to London with three of the 2011 European team Gold medallists and with Richard Davison as our individual rider.
“This is as exciting a squad as we have ever taken to an Olympic Games. I’m sure the riders will be knuckling down over the next few weeks to ensure they deliver our best performances as there will be other nations with their eyes on the dressage medals.”
Laura Bechtolsheimer said:
“I am really pleased, although it was not a great surprise as I feel we have been on good form. It was nice to have it confirmed and official. We can now start planning as a team which is exciting.
“The three of us in the team event have confidence in each other and we work well together as a team. Although dressage is an individual sport, it is great to know we can be a positive support to one another at the Games.
“It will be so different to Beijing 2008. It is good to have been through the experience before, but I feel a completely different athlete this time, and Alf and I are much more confident and established and have had continued success since then. This time, we will really be able to knuckle down and get on with the job.”
Richard Davison said:
“To ride in the Olympics is the greatest honour a rider can ever have and to do it in front of the home crowd in London will be a once-in-a-lifetime privilege.  But I’m really happy for Artemis’ owners, sponsors, home team and supporters who have believed in this horse since the beginning and deserve this moment.
“It’ll be just like the old days and be great to back in the team again.  I do feel sorry for Laura and Charlotte though, as between Carl and I we’ll raise the average age of the team considerably! If Charlotte’s nickname for Carl is granddad, I’m bound to be christened great granddad!”
Charlotte Dujardin said:
“I’m just ecstatic to make the team – it’s a great honour to represent my country and such a huge achievement.  It will be my first Olympics and I’m over excited – I just can’t wait!
“It’s amazing to have Carl in the team.  We’re the home team, so to be together is great, and we’re stronger together. It will be so amazing to have the home support – I just hope I don’t let anyone down.  I’ll just go and try to do my best and if I do perform to my best, the results will come.”
Carl Hester said:
“Obviously it’s something that is a dream come true and it is a real ‘dream team’. I think the fact that we went to the Championships last year with such a strong team meant that we got to work together to deliver that result, and we will try and go for a repeat success at London 2012.”
Ride Well!

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.


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!