La Scala Injured & Out of Aussie Selection Trial, Leaving Only Four Horses for Team

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Briana Burgess and La Scala competing. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Briana Burgess and La Scala competing. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

DEAUVILLE, France, July 25, 2014–An injury to La Scala ridden by Briana Burgess before Friday’s start of the second selection trial for Australia’s team for the World Equestrian Games left only four combinations available for the four spots on the squad.

It was unknown whether La Scala could be fit enough in time for the WEG starting in exactly a month so the Australian federation could waive the requirement for completing the selection trials. It had done so for Hayley Beresford and Jaybee Alabaster who cited the rules to be excused from the first trial when the horse was not fit and to count only a score from the second trial. It became moot when the horse was withdrawn from this event as well.

“Unfortunate news out of France with Brianna Burgess withdrawing from the second Australian dressage nomination event for the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG),” the federation reported.

“La Scala has been deemed unfit to compete. La Scala will undergo further veterinary assessments in the coming days.”

At, 26 , Briana was the youngest rider on Australia’s WEG long list and is based in Germany. La Scala is a 16-year-old Rhinelander gelding (Lancer II x Rembrandt) that was ranked third on 68.820 per cent heading into Deauville.

The last remaining combinations with the result of the first selection trial at Fritzens, Austria are:

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. Lyndal Oatley, 34, based in Germany and Sandro Boy, 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Hit x Argentinus) – 68.420%
4. Maree Tomkinson, 45, based in Australia and Diamantina 4, 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Diamond Hit x Campari M) – 67.400%

Staging the two selection trials outside Australia for the first time was an experiment to take the competition to where most of the top Aussie combinations are based–in Europe.