TEAM Ireland dressage High Performance director Johann Hinnemann will be spoiled for choice after Co Down’s Abigail Lyle qualified a second horse for the 2022 FEI Dressage World Championships at the three-star international dressage show in Wellington, Britain on Thursday.
The British-based Irish rider and the 11-year-old Fabregas gelding Farrell scored an international personal best of 68.84%, as a combination, in the Grand Prix class for the sixth place. The FEI Dressage World Championships take place in Herning, Denmark from August 6th to 10th 2022 with six team qualification slots on offer for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Lyle qualified the 11-year-old Rosseau gelding Giraldo for Herning at the three-star international dressage show in Compiègne, France last month. To qualify, under FEI rules, a rider and horse combination must achieve a result of at least 66% attributed by the ground jury and by any two different FEI 5* dressage judges, of a nationality other than that of the rider, in a Grand Prix and/or Short Grand Prix, at two different CDI3*/CDI4*/CDI5*/CDI-W or CDIO events, from 1st January 2021 until the date of nominated entries [4th July 2022].
The ‘Athlete Selection Policy for the Senior Dressage World Championships 2022’, published by Horse Sport Ireland on May 30th 2022, refers to “consistency of scores over 68% and that the dressage High Performance director reserves the right to consider scores below 68% should same be merited”. Hinnemann will announce the Team Ireland Dressage World Championships squad next month.
On their first international outing since the Tokyo Olympics last summer, Heike Holstein and her 13-year-old home-bred mare Sambuca placed eighth in the Grand Prix on a 68.044% total. Holstein and Sambuca are already qualified for the FEI Dressage World Championships as is British-based rider Alex Baker and the 14-year-old KWPN gelding Dutchman. Baker, who is trained by Anna Ross, scored 67.52% for 12th place. Abi Lyle and Giraldo slotted into 17th place on 65.95%.
Twenty five-year-old Dubliner Kevin Acres made his Grand Prix international debut for Ireland at Wellington scoring 64.39% with the KWPN gelding Ganesh.
Former Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin and Imotep scored 77.76% for a home win. British rider Gareth Hughes completed the podium with Classic Briolinca (75.91%) for second and on Sintano Van Hof Olympia (72.696%) in third.