2012, Aachen, Australia, australian olympic equestrian team, Beijing, Bob Oatley, Dressage, equihunter, federation equestre internationale, horse box, Horsebox, Kristy Oatley, London, Olympic Games, Sydney
[stuff.co.nz] ”You have to love keeping it in the family!” pronounced Lyndal Oatley when she heard her cousin Kristy was joining her on the Australian Olympic equestrian team to compete in London.
But, in the world of dressage, the love didn’t spread far at all.
Instead, the selection of the two Oatleys – granddaughters of the billionaire Bob Oatley, a sponsor of grand prix events in the sport in Australia – has exposed bitter tensions at the perceived influence of wealth and patronage in the sport.
Kristy Oatley gained her spot at the expense of Hayley Beresford under a discretionary selection process. Yet, only two weeks ago, Beresford was ranked 111th in the world, well ahead of Oatley’s ranking of 283, as judged by the Federation Equestre Internationale. Both women represented Australia in Beijing.
Then, last Thursday Beresford confirmed form, too, was on her side, beating Kristy Oatley in Aachen in Germany – only hours before the Court of Arbitration in Sport, sitting in Sydney, closed the final legal door to her Olympic dream. She finished the event in tears.
”I am deeply devastated and at this moment cannot find the words to explain the selection process,” she said on Facebook.
Beresford last night told the Sydney Morning Herald Lyndal was clearly the best rider but that selectors were biased towards Kristy.
Other riders are speaking out, claiming the selection process was altered to favour Kristy Oatley, who was added to the shadow Olympic team after it had been finalised despite not having competed for……
Andrew Stevenson & Louise Hall
- Not a fair crop: Olympic discard who outrode tycoon’s granddaughter (smh.com.au)
- Hayley Vs the tycoon’s granddaughters (theage.com.au)
- Another Oatley wins Oly equestrian spot (news.smh.com.au)