The Equestrian Federation of Australia has announced the new members of the dressage teams, which will represent the country at upcoming competitions.
When Ulla Salzgeber was appointed dressage training advisor to EFA at the end of last month, the federation dramatically altered the structure of its teams. Among the most radical innovations was the introduction of three national teams, whose members would be reconsidered at regular intervals on the basis of their performance and their ability to cope with a rigorous training programme.
EFA has now named the three squads — the first to be based on the new selection criteria. Ann Serrao and Centaur, Olympian Ricky MacMillan and Crisp, Heath Ryan and Greenoaks Dundee and Kelly Layne and Amoucheur make up the A team, with Kirsty Oakley Nist and her two rides, Don Bolera and Quando Quando, waiting in the wings. Serrao, MacMillan, Ryan and Oakley Nist are all veterans of Australia’s 2004 elite squad, while Layne has moved up from the talent squad.
The B1 team, which includes combinations who are moving from small tour to grand prix, lists only three pairs: former talent squad member Matthew Dowsley on Cinderella, Maurice Bruce on Neversfelde Feuer and Denise Rogan on APH Romarn.
Six more pairs — Athens Olympian Mary Hanna with Port Said 10, Nicole Tough with Glencoe Manhattan, Rozzie Ryan with Donna Carrera, Glennis Barrey with Classico II, Vicki Robertson with Northern Invader and Lesley-Ann Taylor with both Welfenadel and Weltklasse — have shown sufficient international potential to be selected for the B2 team.
No sooner did EFA announce the new squads, however, that it issued a stern reminder that only the best will be entitled to a place on the team. “The selectors reserve the right to add and subtract from the squads at any time,” they wrote in a statement. “Selectors will be watching the results of the coming CDI-W at Melbourne and the CDI*** at Sydney.”