Aussie World Games Team to be Decided at Deauville CDI3* Friday

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Mary Hanna on Sancette at the top of the rankings ahead of the second and final ranking to win a spot on the Australian team for the World Games. © 2014 The Horse Magazine
Mary Hanna on Sancette at the top of the rankings ahead of the second and final ranking to win a spot on the Australian team for the World Games. © 2014 The Horse Magazine

DEAUVILLE, France, July 24, 2014–The five horses and riders remaining in what has become a musical chairs contest for one of the four places on Australia’s team for the World Equestrian Games will be decided in the Dress’in Deauville CDI3* Grand Prix Friday.

What began as an unusual experiment with the two selection trials being held outside their homeland for the first time appears to have worked out about as expected.

Three European-based combinations, a multi-Olympian who is as much at home in Europe and the top ranked pair from Down Under will compete in the Grand Prix at this facility that will be the base for the Australian dressage squad–and some other countries–ahead of the World Games starting in nearby Caen on Aug. 25.

Briana Burgess, the new young gun of Australian dressage, with La Scala at the Deauville veterinary check. © 2014 The Horse Magazine
Briana Burgess, the new young gun of Australian dressage, with La Scala at the Deauville veterinary check. © 2014 The Horse Magazine

After the Fritzens, Austria CDI4* three weeks ago that was the first selection trial in which only Grand Prix scores count, the field has been whittled down to the following combinations:

1. Mary Hanna, 59, based in Australia and Sancette, 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Sandro Hit x Contender) – 70.420% at Fritzens
2. Kristy Oatley, 36, based in Germany and Ronan, 14-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Riccione x Contender) – 69.300%
3. Briana Burgess, 26, based in Germany and La Scala, 16-year-old Rhinelander gelding (Lancer II x Rembrandt) – 68.820%
4. Lyndal Oatley, 34, based in Germany and Sandro Boy, 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Hit x Argentinus) – 68.420%
5. Maree Tomkinson, 45, based in Australia and Diamantina 4, 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Diamond Hit x Campari M) – 67.400%

Kristy Oatley working Ronan at Deauville. © 2014 The Horse Magazine
Kristy Oatley working Ronan at Deauville. © 2014 The Horse Magazine

Kristy is not competing her second horse, Louisa and Germany-based Hayley Beresford and Jaybee Alabaster pulled out when the horse was not fit enough for either trial. Two other European-based combinations and one in America either didn’t make the cut or were recovering from injury.

The five that will fight for the four team spots and possibly a reserve are among a field of 38 starting entries from 12 nations in the Grand Prix.

Lyndal Oatley on Sandro Boy being watched by her husband, Patrik Kittel of Sweden. © 2014 The Horse Magazine
Lyndal Oatley on Sandro Boy being watched by her husband, Patrik Kittel of Sweden. © 2014 The Horse Magazine