From the Main Arena ...
It was off to an early start and following the opening address, Queensland vet and FEI rider Anita Scampton showed her 'other side" riding a purebred Clydesdale gelding. Anita's boyfriend Toby breeds the "gentle giants" and Anita has made it a mission tho show their talent, temperament and all round appeal - what a gorgeous boy!
Clydesdales do Dressage Too! Anita Scampton and Eucalypt Park Chieftan.... look for more at Windsor Park Clydesdales.
The next demonstration was a fascinating insight into "The Development of the Dressage Horse" prepared and presented by Nicole Tough and she was assisted today by Tammy Stephens.
Nicole rode the imported 5 YO gelding Flavio by Florestan (pictured below).
He is owned by Linda and Beau Dowsett and he was the perfect gentleman and greatly assisted Nicole in her demonstration.
Nicole enlisted the assistance of Tammy Stephens who was able to "show" the lessons and improvements.
Nicole Tough gives a mounted talk and demonstration on the 17 hh imported gelding Flavio.
Next demo was the riding of an Advanced Freestyle test by Gillian Rogers-Cuneen on her Prix St George gelding High Calypso. He is a 9 YO Warmblood and Gillian has worked with him right from the start. After she rode her test, there was a commentary and discussion headed by fellow FEI rider, Denise Rogan who is known for her partnership with APH Romarn.
Pictured right is Gillian and High Calypso at the National Championships at SIEC a few years ago.
Anjanette Harten (right) spoke next on the subject of "Re-Training the Ex-Racehorse" Her talk acknowledges that most riders have been in a position of riding, owning or training an ex-racehorse. Anjanette is a successful dressage trainer, coach and competitor and she conducts regular clinics throughout Queensland. Anjanette's background in eventing has given her a great deal of experience with off the track Thoroughbreds which has enabled her to formulate a system to help get through the difficulties and turn out a horse that is trainable and will go on to be successful at dressage, eventing, showjumping, show classes or for pleasure riding.
Anjanette's segment was highly recommended for anyone who owns a TB or is about to experience the journey from race track to a (hopefully) successful equestrian career.
The next demo was "Riding through a 'new' Novice Dressage Test" which was presented by popular committee man and Festival Art Director, Gary Lung.
Gary was capably assisted by his stunning Weltmeyer gelding GB Winchester as they de-mystified the movements and made it look very easy. Gary discussed the individual movements of the test ... and how the rider should approach the training and competition riding of these movements. He then rode through a test giving a running commentary. For many, Gary's segment was a real highlight as Winchester is a feast for the eyes and epitomises what we would like to see in a top quality young dressage horse. The pair have got the scores on the board and have received Australia wide acclaim for their exceptional talent.
Gary Lung on the gorgeous GB Winchester (Weltmeyer X GB Saffron ... Trakehner)
The Benefits of Dressage Training for the Showjumper - was presented by Tor Van Den Berge who needs no introduction ... as he is a very successful rider, trainer and coach. He and wife Mel manage Que Sera Farm where they mostly work with Dressage horses and riders. Mel's background is eventing ... so they also train eventing and showjumping horses and riders.
In this presentation Tor explained the benefits of dressage based, gymnastic exercises for ALL horses ... and emphasised that a supple and responsive horse will do ANY job better!
Pictured above right - Tor and Mel at a presentation ceremony where they both had a podium finish!
At this point the indoor emptied and the spectators relocated to enjoy the sunshine and "Fashions in the Garden"
First on, in the main arena after the break was "The Influence of the Rider's Position" Liz was assisted by Gillian Rogers-Cuneen and Victorian young rider, John Thompson. Liz brought a great deal of personal experience along with a depth of knowledge to her talk and most found it fascinating.
John Thompson is all smiles as he assists Liz Owens in her segment on Rider's - the pesky light has affected the clarity of this pic.
"Quadrille to Music" touted as "The Awesome Foursome" the riders were Tammy Stephens, Karen Spencer, Chelsea Wood & Danielle Dowsett.
‘The Awesome Foursome’ young riders, Tammy, Karen, Chelsea and Danielle did a display to music choreographed in collaboration by Nicole Tough and rider Tammy Stephens, for which they received a standing ovation.
"A Training Session" Nicole Magoffin (right) the former NZ ballerina is now better known for her achievements in the Dressage arena but is now recognised as an up and coming trainer and coach.
Nicole has represented her home country New Zealand and Australia at international events and in her presentation she discussed a typical training session and how to measure success and where to go if the desired result is not achieved. Nicole was a popular speaker at the Festival.
Jenny Gehrke spoke again and this time covered the all important matter of "How to Warm up to Ride Your Best Test?" Jenny acknowledged this as an oft asked question as the correct warm up will determine the success of a competition rider and of course will vary depending on a number of variable factors.
Jenny was able to pass on some helpful advice and get riders thinking about each ride as an experience with dynamics that may change ... competitors and trainers must always be thinking riders!
Australia is very proud to have one of just 25 Olympic Level Dressage Judges in the world and Mary Seefried (pictured right) is a great asset to the sport and well respected for her work to develop Australian Dressage.
Today Mary gave a valuable insight to reveal "What the Judges are Looking For in a Freestyle Test?"
Mary was assisted by Tori Welch, Cheryl Williams and Kaz Roe.
There have been many changes to the 'weighting of importance' given to the freestyle test and now the World Cup and all of the Qualifiers will be won by the combination with the highest score for their Freestyle (KÅ±r) ride. With many international hopefuls being prepared to spend a significant sum on specially prepared music, ensuring that the test meets the judges requirements technically, musically and artistically is more important than ever - Mary was very popular and had some great advice.
Pictured above right is Kaz Roe riding the imported mare Donna Bonita at the National Dressage Championships at SIEC. The mare was the 2008 Hanoverian Horse of Australia Novice and Elementary Leaderboard winner.
"Expert Panel Discussion" This segment in the Magic Millions Sporthorse Sale, Seminar Centre was a segment that gave the audience the opportunity to watch demonstration riders Tor Van Den Berge, Gary Lung and Kirsten McAuslan ride movements from Novice through to FEI, in front of a panel of expert professionals. The Panel was made up of:
Carlos De Cleemaeker (Trainer)
Mary Seefried (Judge)
Paula Williams (Vet)
Tony Fookes (Remedial Muscular Exercise Therapist)
Each member of the expert panel provided feedback on each movement commenting on what they saw from their specialist perspective. Everyone agreed it was a fascinating take on looking at dressage movements.
From Left - Carlos De Cleermaeker, Mary Seefried , Tony Fookes & Paula Williams.
Announcement of the Silent Auction winners.
"Ask the Master" was a Question and Answer session with Carlos De Cleermaeker.
Carlos also gave a "Masterclass" with some members of the Queensland Dressage Squads.
Carlos worked with the considerations of training the young horse right through the grades and finished with some work at Grand Prix.
The Grand Finale of the day was a delightful presentation titled "Me and My Shadow" which was ridden by Anita Scampton on her FEI horse Faulkaneer and 17 YO Jess Cham riding Bam Hill Fletcher, a 10 YO grey Welsh Mountain Pony stallion.
This was light hearted fun and closed a fantastic day on a high note.
Apologies to the riders for not being able to get a decent photo on the night, but pictured right is Anita and Zephyr competing at the Brisbane CDI in 2007.