Great Start for AUS Dressage Team at World Games

Australia is in a good position after the first day of the Dressage Team competition at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.  Australia is in 7th position of the 14 teams with two more competitors to compete tomorrow. 

 

The best three scores will count toward the final team score. The Dutch are the current leaders with two competitors in the top three places thus far. Imke Schellekens-Bartels on Hunter Douglas Sunrise is leading the competition on 73.447% and Hans Peter Minderhoud on Exquis Nadine in third on 72.255%.  However, their best is yet to come. The world record-breaking Dressage mega star Moorlands Totalis ridden by Edward Gal will compete for the Dutch team tomorrow at 2:30pm.

 

The first of the Australians into the arena to perform the Grand Prix test was Lyndal Oatley riding the 13-year-old gelding Potifar (Jazz).  It was a team debut for 30-year-old Lyndal, who lives in Germany.

 

Lyndal and Potifar make a lovely picture.  The 16.3hh bay has a presence and athleticism that draws the eye. Lyndal was tactical and sensible in her approach to her performance, aware of her horse’s inexperience at a World Championship level and in the big atmosphere of the main arena.  The pair performed an accurate and elegant test scoring 65.574%.

 

“He was actually more attentive to me than normal so there were a few miscommunications that I wasn’t used to.  I wanted to be safe, I was the first team member for Australia and I wanted to set it off on a good foot.  I am not there to win the gold I am there to make a good start and sixty- five percent is a good start,” commented Oatley after her ride.

 

Rachael Sanna was the next Australian into the main arena. Rachael is a veteran of international competition having now represented Australia at four World Equestrian Games and an Olympic Games (Sydney 2000).  Rachael was riding 11-year-old Jaybee Alabaster who has never been short of talent but is inexperienced at this level.  Alabaster had not been himself for the first week after arriving from Sydney and Sanna feared that she would not get the performance out of the horse that she had hoped for.

 

“He was very horse shy and intimidated when he first arrived, he lacked energy and was dull to ride,” said Sanna.  “Four days ago I got on him and thought ‘He is back’. He was back to normal; he was bright and interested and gave me a great ride.  He has been that way each day since and today he was awesome,” added Sanna.

 

It was a beautiful performance that saw the pair awarded 68.809% and 9th place of the 31 competitors from today’s competition.

 

 “It was the best ride I could have hoped for; he just pulled it all together. There was one little hiccup but I don’t even think about that.  I am just so happy,” commented an ecstatic Sanna as she left the main arena.

 

Tomorrow 2008 Olympians Hayley Beresford and Relampago do Retiro and 2010 World Cup Finalist and Australian Dressage Champions Brett Parbery and Victory Salute will represent Australia.

 

Australia’s best-ever team result at a World Equestrian Games to date is 9th place (Aachen 2006). 

 

The team competition (the Grand Prix) doubles as the first individual qualifier with the top 25 competitors going through to the Grand Prix Special.

 

For all Australian Team information please see www.aet.equestrian.org.au  

 

For World Equestrian Games information see www.alltechfeigames.com