World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle Highlights for Two Australians 10,000 miles/16,000 km Apart
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
World Cup highlights for Australians this weekend included perhaps the youngest ever rider to to win a CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle Down Under while one of the country’s most successful international competitors almost 10,000 miles/16,000 km away posted the highest score for a musical performance since she set the top mark more than eight years ago.
Mary Warren, 18 years old rode her homebred Mindarah Park Ramadan to victory with a score of 71.000 per cent in the World Cup Freestyle at the Australian Championships in Sydney Saturday night.
For Mary and the 14-year-old Holsteiner breeding stallion by Regardez Moi it was only their fourth CDI Grand Prix since starting Big Tour in April after competing successfully at Young Riders through last year.
Mary, who lives with her family at their training and breeding farm about 112 miles/180km north of Sydney, may be the youngest ever winner of a World Cup event Down Under, according to a search by dressage-news.com of available records over the past 12 years.
The victory should earn the pair an invitation to the Pacific/Asia League final in New Zealand that will determine the single spot assigned to the geographic area to the World Cup Final in Omaha next March.
Ramadan is Mary’s first Grand Prix horse, but the duo was 2015 Australian CDN Grand Prix champion as well as 2012 New South Wales Young Rider Medium champion. She competes Mindarah Park Raphael at Young Riders.
At the World Cup event in Odense, Denmark to kick off the nine-event Western European League which gets at least nine slots at the final Australia’s Kristy Oatley and her Olympic partner Du Soleil posted a personal best of 76.705 per cent for fourth place. Kristy, a four-time Olympian for Australia though based in Germany, began the Big Tour career of the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, a year ago.
The score for the pair was the highest since Kristy earned 77.650 per cent on Quando Quando in March 2008 before their appearance later that year at the Beijing Olympics.
A search of official records shows that Sunday’s result would be the second highest freestyle result by an Australian after Kristy’s 2008 score. The next closest being by her cousin, Lyndal Oatley four years ago on her two-time Olympic mount Sandro Boy.
“Today was the first time I rode my new freestyle so I actually focused more on the music than on my horse but he was fine in there today,” said Kristy, the 38-year-old mother of three. “Sometimes he gets over enthusiastic in an indoor atmosphere. He has done two World Cups last year but this is our first indoor show this season and I am quite happy with our performance today.”