”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.
But daddy! I want to ride a horsey in the Olympics NOW!