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Posted by Kirsty Pasto on 24/05/2022.
Photo credit: Kirsty Pasto

Australian Dressage Riders Shine in the International Arena

As the FEI World Championships approach, Australian Dressage combinations have demonstrated they are a force to be reckoned with. 

This past weekend, five Australian combinations competed at CDI3* and CDIO5* levels throughout Europe, with all combinations finishing in the top ten placings. 

Six-time Olympian Mary Hanna competed with her Olympic mare 'Calanta' in the CDI3* competition in Hagen, Germany, earning a place on the podium and setting a personal best score in the CDI3* Grand Prix Special.

Mary and 'Calanta' finished fourth in the CDI3* Grand Prix with a score of 70.478%, gaining the combination their second Australian qualifying score for the FEI World Championships. 

“So thrilled with Calanta,” said Mary. “Now I have both Syriana and Cally (Calanta) qualified for the World Championships and possible selection for the Australian Team.”  

 Mary Hanna and 'Calanta', photo credit: Mary Hanna Dressage

The following day, Mary and 'Calanta' repeated their outstanding performance, finishing third in the CDI3* Grand Prix Special on a score of 72.340%, a personal best for the combination in the Special, with Mary noting the mare "just keeps on improving." 

It was also a fruitful weekend for Australian combinations at the Equine Sport Centre Olomouc in the Czech Republic, with both Simone Pearce and Warwick McLean competing in the CDI3* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle classes.  

The Aussies claimed two victories at the event and also dominated the standings, finishing on the podium in both classes. 

Simone Pearce, who represented Australia at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, debuted her new mount 'Fiderdance,' and what a debut they made. The pair won the CDI3* Grand Prix in style with a score of 69.761%. 

The fact that the victory was achieved after only a few rides together, with Simone only announcing her transfer to Gestüt Bonhomme the same week, makes it even more impressive.

Simone Pearce and 'Fiderdance'. Photo credit: Equine Sport Centre Olomouc

Simone had previously worked at Gestut Sprehe for four years, during which time she had amassed a trove of accolades and international acclaim. 

"After just a handful of rides together we managed to win our international debut and gain a score for the Aussie World Championship team selection. It’s been a crazy emotional few weeks and it was all a bit stressful in the lead up, but I’m really happy with Mr Fidel (Fiderdance)," said Simone.

Warwick McLean and the 13-year-old Oldenburg stallion 'Hendrix 11' finished second in the CDI3* Grand Prix, narrowly behind Simone, on a score of 68.457 %.

However, on the second day of competition the tables were turned with Warwick and 'Hendrix 11' winning the CDI3* Grand Prix Special on a score of 69.298 %, while Simone and 'Fiderdance' came in third on a score of 69.213 %.

The competition was fierce in the Czech Republic over the weekend, with the top three finishers separated by only 0.085 %.

Warwick McLean and 'Hendrix 11'. Photo credit: Equine Sport Centre Olomouc

Lyndal Oatley, a dual Olympian, had two rides in Compiègne, France, over the weekend. The competition comprised both CDI3* and CDI5O* divisions and was held at Grand Parc Equestre in the French medieval town an hour north of Paris.  

The French weather was not kind to the competitors, with heavy downpours adding an additional challenge and leaving the competition arenas resembling swimming pools. 

Lyndal, a consummate professional, rode 13-year-old KWPN gelding 'Eros' to sixth place in the CDI3* Grand Prix with a score of 71.696 %, and seventh place in the CDI3* Grand Prix Special with a score of 70.681 %. 

“Rossy (Eros) went above and beyond in the Grand Prix in the pool! There was lightening around us in the warm-up and only getting stuck in the sand after the change between the pirouettes cost us valuable points, deducted from a mega-pirouette, holding us back from a higher score. We lost some gas in the Special, sadly but he tried and has really grown into a competition pony,” said Lyndal of her performance.

Lyndal Oatley and 'Eros'. Photo credit: file photo from Dressurzentrum Máriakálnok and Łukasz Kowalski

Lyndal also rode her 13-year-old KWPN mare 'Elvive' in the CDIO5* competition. The combination performed well in both classes, finishing 14th in the CDIO5* Grand Prix with a score of 69.544 % and eighth in the CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 73.300 %.  

Lyndal Oatley and 'Elvive'. Photo credit: file photo from Dressurzentrum Máriakálnok and Łukasz Kowalski

Equestrian Australia High Performance would like to congratulate all riders, horses, owners, grooms, and their connections on an outstanding weekend of dressage for Australia.

Results for all competitions can be found below:
Hagen (GER)
Olomouc (CZE)
Compiègne (FRA)













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