Aussie Lyndal Oatley & Sandro Boy Shine at Hagen CDI4*
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
HAGEN, Germany, April 28–Lyndal Oatley on Saturday rode Sandro Boy 9 to the highest score for an Australian at a CDI Grand Prix this year with 70.466 per cent at the Horses and Dreams meets Great Britain CDI4*, a premier event on the road to the Olympics in London in three months.
The German-based rider and Sandro Boy that she has been riding less than a year and in only their second CDI placed 12th in the lineup of 29 starting combinations. And the atmosphere was electric in the outdoor stadium that became packed with 5,500 spectators to see the superstar stallion Totilas in his first event in eight months as well as Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris and Kristina Sprehe and Desperados of Germany.
Australians Mary Hanna on Umbro placed 23rd with 65.723 per cent and Hayley Beresford on Simba G 27th with 62.404 per cent. In the Grand Prix for the Special on Friday, Mary Hanna and Sancette placed 19th with 66.447 per cent and Chantal Wigan and Ferero 8 21st on 62.872 per cent.
Lyndal has nominated Sandro Boy, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Sandro Hit to switch with Potifar, her 2010 World Equestrian Games mount, for the Aussie Olympic selection trials in Europe.
“It was an amazing feeling,” she told dressage-news.om of their performance in the Grand Prix to qualify for the Freestyle to be held Sunday, “very positive. He liked the atmosphere.
“He’s a super championship horse. He’s got this heart that wants to please you from the first step to the last step.”
Lyndal, married to Swedish team rider Patrik Kittel, celebrated her first score above 70 per cent with some “retail therapy” of treating herself to a gift, as she did at other career landmarks such as her first win and becoming a member of the Australian team for the first time.
Her first CDI on Sandro Boy was at at Stadl Paura in Austria in early April.
Patrik found the horse, that was showing at small tour at the time, in Holland and was placed in training with him.
She loved Sandro Boy’s “super attitude and good heart” and after riding him quickly arranged to buy the horse “so he wouldn’t sell it to someone else.”
“He’s never shown in this atmosphere,” she said. “His mentality can’t be beat. I don’t have to work him down or fire him up. He is the most straightforward Grand Prix horse in my life and the first horse I’ve taken to Grand Prix.”
She “let off the hand brake” in Saturday’s ride and it paid off with marks of nine for the half passes but a slight misjudgement in the zig zag.
“I’m super happy and there is room to improve.”
Her competition schedule include Mannheim and Munich in Germany in May and Compiegne, France, in early June to seek a place on the Australian team for London.