Kristy Oatley & Ronan Notch Personal Best to Lead Aussie Sweep of Top Three Places in Deauville CDI3* Freestyle
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DEAUVILLE, France, July 26, 2014–Kristy Oatley on her Ronan 2 notched a personal best score to lead an Australian sweep of the top three places in the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday, a day after the trio posted scores to assure placings on their nation’s team for the World Equestrian Games a month away.
For the top two Aussie combinations the scores were personal best results for the Freestyle.
The Germany-based 36-year-old Kristy and Ronan scored 75.325 per cent that beat the pair’s previous best of 74.475 per cent set more than two years ago, also in France.
Mary Hanna, whose two selection trial results on Sancette, placed the partnership at the top of the team rankings was second on 74.775 per cent while Lyndal Oatley, Kristy’s cousin and also based in Germany, was third on Sandro Boy with 73.475 per cent.
Dress’in Deauville was a triumph for the top group of Australians seeking to win places on their team for the WEG where the dressage competition starts at nearby Caen Aug. 25. All three riders were on the Aussie team at the Olympics in London two years ago, Lyndal and Mary on the same horses.
Lyndal and Sandro Boy won the Grand Prix Friday, with Mary and Sancette second.
Kristy took a break from competition in 2013 but returned to the show arena this year year looking to go to her third world championships–Rome in 1998 and Aachen, Germany in 2006 were the two previous to go along with her three Olympic appearances.
Ronan is a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Riccione x Contender) that she began competing international Grand Prix two years ago and logged one previous victory, the Freestyle at Compiègne two years ago and the previous highest score.
The previous best Freestyle result for Mary Hanna, 59, based in Australia and Sancette, 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Sandro Hit x Contender), was 72.625 per cent at Vidauban, France 2 1/2 years ago.
The fourth Australian combination to compete at Deauville, Maree Tomkinson, 45, and Diamantina 4, are entered in the Grand Prix Special Sunday.
The status of La Scala, ridden by Australia’s 26-year-old Briana Burgess, that was withdrawn with an injury from Deauville after the veterinary inspection was unknown. Briana had ridden the 16-year-old Rhinelander gelding (Lancer II x Rembrandt) in the first selection trial in Fritzens, Austria four weeks ago to rank third among the Australians at that stage.
The Australian federation approved a request from the Germany-based Hayley Beresford to waive the requirement to compete Jaybee Alabaster in the Fritzens event because the horse was unfit at the time. The federation announced that if the horse was determined by an approved veterinarian as fit for Deauville the selectors would accept the single result. After that approval, Basti, as the horse is nicknamed, was withdrawn altogether from the selection procedures.