It was a family affair that lacked a fairytale ending for the horse riders from Down Under.
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Australian Lyndal Oatley just missed out in the Olympic dressage event, and so did her cousin Christie, although her husband Patrik made it for another country – Sweden.
Oatley, from NSW, was the highest ranking Australian, finishing 37th on her horse Sandro Boy and just missing out on a spot in the final 30 for the second round.
Christie Oatley, riding Clive, finished 42nd and Victorian Mary Hanna on Cancette came 43rd.
Oatley’s husband Patrik Kittel advanced to the second round by finishing 15th, but she said he would refrain from exercising family bragging rights.
“He’s a proud hubby,” she said. “It might be different if it was the other way around.
“But I’m a proud wife, too. We have been training together for four years and we are still happily married, so we must be doing something right. We keep the love.”
The three Australians also just missed out in the teams event, finishing ninth, two spots away from progressing at the Greenwich Park equestrian centre, which is hosting one of only three Olympic sports where men and women compete on an equal footing.
The Australians are a strong eventing nation but still in their infancy in dressage, which is a kind of horseback ballet, entering for the first time at Sydney 2000.
They registered their best score in London, higher than in Beijing in 2008 where they reached the second round, but in the meantime the whole sport has been taken to a higher level.
Lyndal Oatley finished with a percentage score of 69.37, Christie Oatley with 68.22 and Hanna with 67.96.
They say they have a lot of good young horses coming through which should improve their chances at the next Games in Rio.