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Dressage team goes down fighting

4 August 2012

EQUESTRIAN - DRESSAGE: Despite impressive scores, the Australian dressage team has failed to progress through to the next round of competition finishing in ninth place in the teams.

Riders Lyndal Oatley, Mary Hanna and Kristy Oatley received strong scores compared to Australia’s results in Beijing, but with the quality of competition on the rise it wasn’t enough this time to make it through.

The Oatley cousins rode in yesterday’s competition to give the Aussies a good start, with their most experienced rider Hanna the last to come out today in front of a packed house.

Four-time Olympian Hanna received 67.964 per cent riding Sancette and has made it clear she is not ruling out a fifth Games.

“He’s (Sancette) still a relatively young horse and I think he has a bright future. He didn’t have the best warm up but I’m really happy with how hard he tried. I was a little under where I wanted to be but I was really happy,” said Hanna.

With Australia’s scores on the rise, Hanna believes the quality of competition and quality of horses amongst the Aussies is certainly improving year on year.

“The standard of dressage world-wide is getting better. The more we move up the more everyone else is moving up – I believe we have the quality of horses coming through that we can do more again.

“My personal aim with Sancette next is for the World Cup, then onto the World Equestrian Games in Normandy and most certainly Rio,” she said.

The final score for the Australian team was 68.521 with debutant Lyndal Oatley recording Australia’s best result in 37th place. Kristy Oatley and Mary Hanna finished 42nd and 43rd respectively.

Lauren Ryan in London

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