By now the news of the scores from Compiegne have been widely published, so I will just tell a few of my thoughts on our week in France. Firsty it was a week when I felt very proud to be an Aussie. Without exception every one of our riders did a great job. All the horses were presented beautifully, and every rider behaved in a professional manner. It’s very tough to have seven highly competitive people all together with their horses, under the pressure of a final Olympic qualifier, without any tensions, but I have to say every body had a great attitude, and behaved impeccably.
I was absolutely thrilled for Lyndal nailing another 70% plus score, in the GP. Sandro Boy is a stunning horse, and Lyndal is a lovely person and absolutely deserves her automatic spot on the team.
Kristy’s win in the Kur on Sunday was another absolute highlight, and we all felt so proud to see the Aussie flag flying high. Ronan is such a striking and elegant horse inspite of his massive size. I have never seen such a big horse that is so beautifully proportioned. It was just great to see the huge grin on Kristy’s face when she came back to the stables laden with trophies. We all celebrated with her after, and it was a great way to finish the show.
My own horses did me proud, with Sancette’s 68.6 being the next highest score to Lyndal in the vitally important Grand Prix. I was also very happy that the two Olympic judges Stephen Clarke, and M. Roudier marked Sancette very high, and next best after Lyndal. This was of importance to my selection possibilities. As I understand it selection is done mostly on the GP scores. The only requirement for the special is that, we had competed in the new Olympic Special twice, as far as the selection was concerned. I am guessing that this is because unless you get a good score in the GP then you don’t get to be in the special at the Olympics.
Umbro finished the competition with one of his best ever Kurs and a great score of 71.5%, gaining fourth place. Even though he is 16.3 hh I felt like I was riding a pony while standing next to Kristy waiting for the prize giving.
It has been an amazing year leading up to this event. We have travelled all over Europe, and the UK, met some wonderful new friends, and caught up with many great old friends. The journey has been fantastic, and there are so many people I want to thank. Firstly a huge thank you to Carol Newby, my brilliant friend and groom. She has done a superb job with my horses. Thank you to my poor long suffering husband Rob, who has been my rock and supported me in every possible way. Gitte and Alex have been really understanding, and been there for me through all the tough times. Bianca and Steph and all the crew at Statene have been great supporters ,and made it possible for me to leave home without worrying and stressing. Thanks girls, you have been great. No matter what happens with selection, with out the support of my wonderful friends and family , I could never have attempted this campaign.
Photos by Carol Newby