NEWS > High Performance
Posted by Kirsty Pasto on 10/06/2022.
Oliver Barrett is sitting in first place after the dressage phase of the Young Rider Team competition of the 2022 Oceania Championships
Photo credit: Kirsty Pasto

Australian Young Rider Team Lead After Dressage at 2022 Oceania Championships

Day one of the 2022 Oceania Championships, hosted by Zeep Melbourne International 3 Day Event, saw Team Australia establish an early lead over the Kiwis in the Furphy Media CCI3*-L, thanks to an outstanding performance by the Australian Young Rider Team.

Despite the chilly and unpredictable weather, the Aussies remained focused on the task at hand, delivering impressive dressage performances with all combinations finishing inside the top 20. 

Oliver Barrett and his mare Sandhills Special made a strong team debut, finishing first on the leaderboard at the end of the dressage phase on a score of 27.7.

When asked how it feels to be sitting in first place, Oliver beamed and said, “I was definitely nervous going into it, but I don’t think it affected me too much. Ideally it is the spot you want to be in heading into cross-country, everybody has to come and get you. ” 

For Oliver, the experience has been a positive learning curve, and he is eager to soak up the knowledge of the riders around him. 

“It has been really cool to be surrounded by other people who have also been selected to represent Australia. It has been good bouncing off people like Andrew [Barnett] and all the other young riders, as well as the Senior Team. You have Olympians in there so to watch them ride and absorb the knowledge from them it has been really cool.”

With the dressage phase of the Senior Riders Team competition in the Pryde’s Easifeed CCI4*-L set to take place tomorrow the Young Riders now have a day off before tackling the Campbell Draper (NZL) designed cross-country course on Sunday. 

“I think the course suits me and my horse,” said Oliver. “There are a few tough questions out there that you have to navigate, but hopefully we can come home safe and clear.”

The next highest placed Australian Young Rider Team combination is Edward Darby and Dawn of the Day in 9th place (32.0), followed by Georgia Tivendale and Star Allure in 13th (33.1) with Riley Lyall and his Off the Track Thoroughbred GI War Machine currently in 20th (35.5).

Andrew Barnett, Young Rider Team Chef d'Equipe, attributes the team's remarkable success to the riders' devotion and willingness to embrace the team camp experience. 

“The guys were fantastic. We had good plans for all of them and as you can tell they all rode really forward and positive. They all scored their average or better, which is amazing at their first team competition. I am very proud of them. 

“We have been very lucky to be down here for three days in camp and we have had time to refine things. I am very impressed they all stuck to their plans and executed them; it was amazing that they all dealt with their nerves extremely well as it is very tough to be in a team situation.”

Results can be found HERE.

Current team scores are:

Australia: 92.8

New Zealand: 104.2


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