Rachel Sanna & Jaybee Alabaster Win Freestyle for Sweep of Aussie Championships
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SYDNEY, Oct. 29–Rachel Sanna and Jaybee Alabaster won the World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday night to complete a sweep of the top of the Australian Dressage Championships.
The score of 74.13 per cent for Rachel and the 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Alabaster x Gloria x Glorieux) came after winning the Grand Prix and putting Australia in a strong position to qualify a team for the Olympics in London next year. In an unusual process, the second half of the qualifying for Australia and South Africa will be in Ermelo, The Netherlands, next week. Three-time Olympian Mary Hanna and Sancette and World Equestrian Games team pair Lyndal Oatley and Potifar will ride for Australia
New Zealand’s team took part in this competition and have to await the outcome of the Ermelo competition to find out whether they will be one of the two nations from that region to win a berth in London.
New Zealand’s Louisa Hill on Bates Antonello was second in the freestyle on 72.28 per cent and Heath Ryan on Regardez Moi, who represented Australian at the 2009 World Cup Final in Las Vegas, was third on 71.13 per cent.
A major disappointment was the performance by Chantal Wigan and Ferero who was paired with Rachel Sanna and Jaybee Alabaster as the half of the Australian Olympic qualifying squad to compete in Sydney. She had complained publicly that she was overlooked by the selectors since returning from Europe a year ago with the 13-year-old KWPN gelding. This was the first Australian team appearance for the pair.
She scored 62.47 per cent for 11th place in the Grand Prix and 61.80 per cent for 14th place in the freestyle.