Dressage riders set records

11 August 2016

EQUESTRIAN: Australian dressage team members Sue Hearn and Mary Hanna both set records when they entered the Olympic Equestrian Centre’s main arena, with 60-year-old Hearn becoming Australia’s second oldest athlete to make an Olympic debut and 61-year-old Mary Hanna
becoming Australia’s oldest competing Olympian.

Hanna’s horse Boogie Woogie 6 also recorded a personal best Grand Prix score of 69.643 per cent.

“He’s been doing Grand Prix for less than a year so I couldn’t be more thrilled with him,” said Hanna.

“He’s come so far and I feel like every day he grows up and I know that really good 70’s score is there, he proved that today.

“He’s such a cool little dude in the arena, he never runs out of energy.

“There were obvious mistakes but he’s only done five Grand Prix’s in his life. He’s very young and I think one of the youngest dressage horses here,” she said.

After Australia drew first in the team’s event, Hearn and her horse Remmington had the honour of being first to go of the 60 strong field.

“It felt good being first out, and it’s done now. I’m happy that we’ve done it,” said Hearn. 

“It felt wonderful getting dressed this morning and to be wearing the Olympic rings. It felt very special. It was such a thrill to put the uniform on this morning.”

Hearn rode to a score of 65.343 per cent and admits to a few mistakes but overall was happy with the test.

“We made a few mistakes, he was a little bit wanting to have a look at things that were around but overall I was really happy with him, it was a big atmosphere.”

“I wish I hadn’t make the mistakes in the flying changes, they were costly.”

Hearn bought Remmington when he was a foal and together the pair have climbed the ranks.

“He was born in our town. He’s very much home bred, not just from Australia but also from where I live. It’s a big deal.

“I’m very proud, he’s a good little horse and I love him dearly.” 

Competition continues Thursday when cousins Lyndal and Kristy Oatley will perform their Grand Prix tests for Australia. At the half-way point Australia is currently in 9th position.

Results from the Grand Prix contribute to the team’s event but also act as an individual qualifier for the Grand Prix Special. The top six teams (including any tied for sixth) plus the highest-placed eight riders (including those tied for eighth) who are not participating in the team competition qualify for the Grand Prix Special which serves as the final of the team competition and the second stage of the individual competition.

Michelle Cook

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