The Final three in each age group &
Champion of Champions - Final overview
Story & Pictures by Berni Saunders
This competition has touched the soul
of most dressage lovers in Australia and enthusiasts from all over, have
made the annual pilgrimage to the Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre
to witness the 'gala event' that has been carefully planned over the past
twelve months, to provide an end of year extravaganza that will keep us
all going until tis time next year!
I intend to do a detailed report which will feature a
picture and the breeding of all horses and the individual marks in each
round - but as you can imagine, this is a huge job and will take a few
days. In the meantime here is some information about the top
three in each age group.
covering the wonderful horses and the inspirational interaction with
Martina Hanover and Ulf Mueller from PSI. I must say what a splendid
job the organising Committee did to stage the event. The Event
Director Sicca Dijkstra now has a well earned reputation for her unique
skill in putting a big event such as this together, and she was the cement
that bonded the team together and enabled Australia to present a wonderful
picture to the many visiting judges from Germany, South Africa, New
Zealand and other far away places. They all expressed genuine
delight at being part of our prestige young horse event, and seem to feel
that we are making positive in-roads to success in the international
Uwe Mechlem, Martina Hanover and Uwe Spenlen from Germany
were wonderful judges of Young Horse and Dressage Classes
and we all valued their insightful comments and expertise.
It was a wonderful experience to see
such beautiful and talented young horses gathered together in two
disciplines - Dressage and Showjumping. Many of the events ran
concurrently, so it was impossible to cover both in the same detail.
The Champion of Champions was the outstanding gelding
Rhodes who was the winner of the Primeval 6 YO class.
The huge chestnut gelding is owned by Dr and Jenny Rapson and Matthew
Dowsley from NSW. and was imported as a stallion and was gelded two years
ago. He was beautifully ridden by Matthew, who has been very
successful at this show over the years. Matthew's clever riding and
talent complimented the movement and quality of this horse and they were
well deserved Champions. The runner up in the 6 YO class was Samantha
Bartlett's chestnut stallion Weltwunder E and the third placegetter was
Rodney Martin & Diana De Silva's lovely black gelding Rothbury Park
Emporio who gave Rodney some very challenging moments at the presentation
ceremony. Rodney stuck out some 'air borne' manoeuvres and settled
his talented horse well.
Matthew Dowsley on Rhodes
2004 Champion of Champions - well done to all connections.
The Nature Vet 5 YO class was won by
Mary & Rob Hanna's imported Jazz gelding Tango V. He was ridden by
Mary Hanna and improved as the show went on. Tango was quite lucky
to have the opportunity to go on after the first round as he finished in
10th place after Friday's first qualifier. He won the second round
quite convincingly and it was clear that Martina enjoyed the elastic and
swinging movement that Tango displayed for her. The very consistent and
well ridden Jaybee Amelia ridden by talented Dutchman Tor Van Der Berge
was 2nd in all three rounds on the soft and supple bay mare. Bev & John
Edwards must be congratulated as they have made an impact at each and
every Dressage with the Stars event. They bred the winner of the
inaugural 3 & 4 YO class back in 1999 and their exciting stallion Jaybee
Alabaster was the 2003 Champion of Champions.
Martina Hanover enjoys riding her 5 YO winner -
Mary & Rob Hanna's wonderful Jazz gelding Tango V
Third horse in the 5 YO class was the
gorgeous bay mare Let's Imagine, ridden by Lizzie Wilson-Fellows.
Martina felt that the mare did not show enough definition between working
and lengthened paces - and at 5 years of age, she expected to see this. We
all agreed that this delightful mare has a huge future as her paces were
It was a disappointing
finish for Maree Tomkinson on her lovely chestnut Stallion Rodrigo ll -
again by the 'frozen semen' sire, Rotspon. Although Australian
breeding times see the flashy youngster as officially 5 - he is in fact
only 4 1/2 (he was foaled in May). He worked beautifully in
the first round with two friends to keep him company in the big atmosphere
of the indoor arena. However, the 'aloneness' of the second round
invited tension which spoilt his walk. The judges were very harsh
... and from a walk mark of 7.5 in round 1 - it went down to 4.5 for the
second round and this put an end to the chance of taking part in the top
three ride off on Saturday evening. Maree will no doubt address
these issues for a chance to make amends in 2005. Good luck ...
The Saturday evening presentation for the 5 year olds
was 'very exciting' in fact, better described as utter chaos!
Tango got things going with a reluctance to step forward and have his rug
and sash fitted - the other young horses decided that they 'would have
what he was having' as it looked like fun! Before too long we had all
three horses setting each other off in what became a rather dangerous
'fear/flight' reaction of the worst kind. Mary wisely dismounted and
led her excitable young boy forward to graciously accept his prizes.
The 4 YO event was largely devoted to the talents of
NSW professional rider, Brett Parbury, who took out first place on the
delightfully feminine Rostpon filly PPH Racqel. He was also runner
up on the Weltmeyer youngster Welton Fyne FF. Well done Brett.
South Australian Dressage rider, Lindy Wright took out third place on
another of Rotspon's (by Rubenstein) lovely offspring - Heathmont
Inferno. Lindy rode him very well as Martina found him to be a little
different into the contact on each rein. She felt that Lindy would
resolve this, but took it into account in making her decision today.
Brett Parbury on PPH Racqel the winner of the Hayes &
4 YO Young Dressage Horse Championship Anthea & Roger Hayes
(Frankston 9783 7777) have a great deal of interest in horses and
expert legal specialise in advice for horse owners and related
At the 2004 Young Dressage Horse
Championships we saw a large number of the top performers in each class
being mares - this is not often see and was noted by Martina, who made it
her business to ask if it was a boy or girl before she rode her final
three. I value the idea of riding nice mares and would love to have
Racqel in my stable.
A notable 4
YO filly was HOCS JEM Valentino ridden by Murray Lamperd. She reversed
Mary Hanna's 5 YO performance by coming 10th after the first round and
winning the second round. Unfortunately in this order, the placing
did not get him through to the final round - many felt this was a great
pity. Never mind, with a four year old and twelve months to practise
- perhaps Murray will have the 5 YO winner in 2005.
Susie Houvenaars made a presentation to
Mary Hanna from the EFA Vic. Dressage Sub-Committee on behalf of all
were touched by the tragic loss of Mary's wonderful partner Limbo.
After their great performance at the Athens Olympics, Limbo lost his
battle with serious illness which arose from complications associated with
travelling. Tragically he did not recover from the set backs which
occurred while he was in quarantine in England. It was the second
tribute to Limbo which was made at this competition (I will give details
of the National EFA's lovely plaque later) I do not believe there
was a 'dry eye' at Werribee - and at this time of celebrating the
wonderful prospects of the future it was very sad to be reminded of the
loss of this wonderful horse who has been flying the flag for us for the
past 6 years. Perhaps Tango will go on to fill Limbo's large shoes
and will also wear the flag on his saddle cloth?
Go to Dressage Results
All photos Copyright
© Cyberhorse 2004 Berni Saunders