Simone Pearce & Destano Boosted by Latest Successes to 2nd Ranked Australian Combination on World Standings

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Simone Pearce on Destano celebrating victory at Brno, Czech Republic CDI3*.

Aug. 31, 2020

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Simone Pearce and Destano have become Australia’s second ranked combination behind Mary Hanna on Calanta on the world standings following their latest performances that shattered the country’s Grand Prix and Special records the pair had set just a month earlier.

Simone and the 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion skyrocketed up the rankings to 2nd from the 17th ranked Australian combination with just seven of the eight scores that can count to accumulate 1,667 points as of the end of August, according to unofficial calculations by dressage-news.com.

All but two of the pairs Simone and Destano vaulted over had the full complement of eight scores.

The rising prominence of the partnership has been amazing. The duo was not on the global rankings until the end of March when it made the inaugural appearance at No. 796 and the 43rd Australian rider and horse. By the end of July, the pair was No. 345 in the world and the 17th for Australian combinations.

The 29-year-old Simone and Detsano posted the record scores for an Australian of 74.152% in the Grand Prix and 74.617% in the Special at the Achleiten, Austria CDI4* at the end of July.

A month later, at the CDI3* in Brno, Czech Republic they logged their first Big Tour victories and smashed their own records with 76.261% in the Grand Prix and 77.894% in the Special, just 140 points–or a score of 64% in a CDI3* Grand Prix–behind Mary Hanna and Calanta on 1,807 points from eight scores.

One of the scores for Mary and Calanta includes includes a competition at the end of February in which the duo established a new Australian Grand Prix Freestyle record of 80.145%. Mary on Syriana that had been in second with 1,642 points slipped to third for Australians.

The period in which scores count for world rankings has been extended beyond a year to accommodate the impact of coronavirus.

For the past decade, the top ranking for an Australian combination has been dominated by Hayley Beresford, Brett Parbery, the Oatley cousins Kristy and Lyndal and Mary Hanna.

Simone on Wladimir O.A. had ranked as high as the fourth Australian when she competed the KWPN gelding in 2017/18.

Simone Pearce of Australia on Feodoro at the World Young Horse Championships. File photo © Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

She was successful competing several young horses at the World Young Horse Championships over five years from 2015 to 2019, but has never been on an Australian senior championship team.

However, as the stable rider for Gestüt Sprehe, a premier German stud, a string of outstanding horses are being developed for competition by Simone.

Sprehe, near Vechta, Germany, is the home of Kristina Bröring-Sprehe who rode Desperados, the sire of Destano, to world No. 1 on a record that included team gold at the 2016 Olympics, team silver at 2012 Olympics, team gold and individual bronze at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, team gold at the 2013 European Championships and team bronze and individual and freestyle silver at the 2015 Europeans.

The results for Simone and Destano make them the leading partnership for the Australian team for Tokyo, compared with results from three CDIs in Australia before the coronavirus break as the Grand Prix Special will decide the Olympic team result. 

The Australian equestrian federation is undergoing a major overhaul and has not yet released new selection procedures for the 2021 Olympics.