Lyndal Oatley & Sandro Boy Claim Likely Highest Ever Score for Aussie at Int’l GP
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Lyndal Oatley and Sandro Boy won their first ever CDI Grand Prix and posted what is likely a record Grand Prix score for Australia in international competition when the Olympic combination won the Kaposvár World Cup Grand Prix with 72.277 per cent in Hungary Saturday.
Lyndal shed what she described as a “waterworks” of tears in the awards ceremony after all five judges placed the pair first, all scoring the German-based pair above 71 per cent, including 73.298 per cent from Germany’s Peter Holler.
Katarzyna Milczarek and Ekwador, who also competed in the London Olympics, were second on 70.809 per cent with European-based Canadian Pia Fortmuller and Orion third on 69.723 per cent.
A search by dressage-news.com of International Equestrian Federation records going back more than six years did not find a score for an Australian combination above 72 per cent in an international Grand Prix, with the previous highest being 71.702 per cent by Maree Tomkinson on Diamantina in Sydney in May this year.
“I never thought I would hear the Australian national anthem and my name in the same phrase,” said the 32-year-old rider whose husband, Patrik Kittel of Sweden, withdrew Toy Story from the Grand Prix.
“I was totally overwhelmed and cried waterworks!”
She said it was great to get back in the saddle for the first competition with her family’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Hit x Utopia x Argentinus) since finishing with the highest score of the three members on the Australian team at the London Games that were Lyndal’s first Olympics. She rode Potifar for Australia at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.
Nissa, as she calls Sandro Boy, “felt very positive and on the job. My frame and tempo was much better than at the Games so I was very happy about that as this has haunted me mentally since London.”
The pair will debut their own freestyle in Sunday’s kür instead of performing to a hand-me-down from Toy Story that she competed briefly two years ago but has since been ridden by Patrik.
Lyndal has already declared her intention to seek to qualify for the World Cup Final on Göteborg, Sweden next Apri. This competition in the Central European League was the first qualifier for the pair since their competition partnership began in April this year.
German Olympian Heike Kemmer on Quantico won the Grand Prix for the Special on 67.851 per cent, Inna Logutenkova of Ukaraine on Don Gregorius was second on 66.957 per cent and Ema Jancarova of the Czech Republic on Athos was third on 65.298 per cent.