Lyndal Oatley’s Results on Elvive, Eros Stake Early Claim for Australian World Championships Team

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Lyndal Oatley on Eros (gray) and Elvive.

Nov. 16, 2021

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Lyndal Oatley has staked out early a possible place on Australia’s team at what would be the Germany-based rider’s third world championships.

Lyndal on Elvive, a 12-year-old KWPN mare, posted a career high 76.855% to win the Blue Hors Dressurfestival CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle in Randbøl, Denmark last week, and the third European victory for the partnership this year.

She also has the second highest Grand score at 73.718% of any Australian anywhere in the world in the past two years, including the leading partnerships in three competitions Down Under in the first couple months of 2020. Those were swept by Mary Hanna who was selected for the Olympics. Only Simone Pearce, another European-based rider, has done better with a Grand Prix result on her Olympic mount Destano of 76.261% in August last year.

Lyndal, married to Swedish Olympic rider Patrik Kittel, with Eros, also a 12-year-old KWPN but a gelding, is not far behind Elvive, with a top Grand Prix score so far of 72.717% set two months ago.

The Australian federation has yet to announce its selection criteria with the first international dressage event Down Under just two months away and a total of five events on the calendar ahead of the world championships a decision is expected in the next few weeks. Covid-19 restrictions in Australia, among the toughest in the world, has meant that by the time of the CDIs early next year the nation will have been unable to stage international dressage competitions.

Aside from Simone Pearce, Mary Hanna and Lyndal, the most accomplished international competitors as of now are the four-time Olympian Kristy Oatley, also based in Germany, on Du Soleil that will be 18 years old in 2022, and Kelly Layne, based in Wellington, Florida, on Samhitas that was the third combination on the Tokyo Games team.

Since her last competition for Australia, at the 2016 Olympics on Sandro Boy that she also rode at the 2012 London Games and the 2014 world championships, Lyndal gave birth to a daughter, Emilia, three years ago.

She has had Elvive since the horse was seven years old. Lyndal has taken her time getting experience with her horses, including passing up a possible Tokyo Olympic team start.

“I think she has unlimited potential,” Lyndal said of Elvive, “as long as I do my job properly. She needs to do some miles and get experience, get used to different environments. Step by step. I’m really excited for the future. I think she’s very talented.”

Lyndal isn’t aiming for the World Cup in Leipzig, Germany next April, “I just want to give him experience without any pressure.”

It’s still early days for both Elvive and Eros, she said, “I just want to give them the best chance.”