Australia Leads in Multi Hemispheric Qualifying for Dressage Team at London Olympics

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Rachael Sanna and Jaybee Alabaster

SYDNEY, Oct. 28–Rachel Sanna on Jaybee Alabaster led Australia to the likely top spot in qualifying a team for the London Olympics next year in a competition over two hemispheres–this weekend at the Australian Dressage Championships in Sydney and next week at Ermelo, The Netherlands, 10,335 miles (16,632 km) apart.

Two Australian team members competed at the Australian Dressage Championships World Cup qualifier. Two more will compete next week in Europe.

Rachel, 36, who has two chidren with her Australian jumper rider husband George Sanna, topped the Grand Prix for the World Cup qualifier with 69.11 per cent. Chantal Wigan, 37,  on Ferero scored 62.47 per cent.

Their combined total was 131.58 per cent.

New Zealand scores were Louisa Hill on Bates Antonello 66.13 per cent, Vanessa Way on KH Arvan 65.51, Nicky Pope on Fabarchie 63.13 per cent and Shiwon Green on Gosh 61.36. The lowest score is dropped.

The result is that Australia’s two scores total 131.58 while New Zealand’s top three scores total 194.77.

Mary Hanna on Sancette and Lyndal Oatley on Poitifar need for only one of them to score better than 63.19 per cent at the event in The Netherlands to qualify a team for London. If both score higher than Chantal’s score would be dropped.

The panel of judges from Sydney will also adjudicate the Dutch competition.

However, New Zealand is not out of it.

South Africa is also seeking to qualify a team at The Netherands competition.

If New Zealand scores higher or the Australians falter then they could become one of two teams from the region able to field a team in London.