Nationals News - Day 1, 29th October, 2009
Story and Pictures by Berni Saunders
Prydes Feeds Intermediate ll Championship - Page 2
The Intermediate ll event was sponsored by the progressive all Australian, specialist equine feed company Prydes. They are a family owned company and took on a "family approach" to the special opportunity to get together with their sponsored riders and friends at the Nationals. This event has enabled Prydes Feeds to showcase their products to the dressage world and also acknowledge the growing number of successful riders who have found that the science of good feeding is helping them to stay at the top. Prydes dressed up SIEC with colourful signage.
9. Queensland rider Emma Flavelle and her lovely mare Northern Meara (Falkland Victory/Northern Amunda) made an impressive appearance and would have put everyone on notice that they are a combination to watch as Meara has super paces with an outstanding Piaffe/Passage tour. It is interesting to note the dominance of Northern bred horses and sadly there will not be too many more as the founders of the Northern Warmblood Stud, Peter and Jan Powles have cut back the stud's breeding program after 40 years involvement.
The Powles would be very pleased to see their bloodlines so well represented at the top level of the sport. Emma and Northern Meara are certainly ones to watch and 60.211% is a great start for a future in the top ranks of dressage.
10. APH Showman (Trak/Sularoc) and Rebecca Woff - another combination who made the trip up the Hume Freeway from Melbourne. Bec is a member of the National Youth Development Squad and also on the Victorian A State Dressage Squad ... and a dedicated student of the sport and loves the opportunity to learn and develop her skills. Their test contained some parts of much improved dressage and the experience will help them to consolidate. Showman is an expressive mover and Bec made the most of this quality. They scored 59.105%
11. NSW combination Sharon Carroll and Rancho Assassin - another FEI star by Bev Edward's Aachimedes/Sabrina. They made an elegant picture and have been together for quite some time. Sharon will look to improve the quality of the collection to create a more distinct difference in the transitions and a greater level of expression in the overall test. Today the changes were tight and this is of great influence on the marks as there is also a flow on effect to the collective marks. They scored 58.000%
12. Popular SA professional Ruth Schneeberger, originally from Switzerland rode Hervey Bay, who also traces back to the Northern Warmblood stud in Kyabram, Victoria. This elegant brown black is by Northern Classic from Our Freedom and he showed great talent for the Piaffe/Passage tour, even though he could not quite maintain a regular rhythm. While faults in the rhythm are penalised heavily, Ruth knows that it is only practise that makes perfect and she is here for the long term benefits that top level competition provides. Today's canter pirouettes lost the centred quality and this is part of an improvement that could be expected with more collection, strength and balance. They scored 57.105%
13. Victorian Hayley Gilbert on her imported mare Odiana K by the legendary stallion Jazz. Hayley is a very hard working rider who understands that Ody is her best "instructor" and it is she that needs to adjust and accommodate her red head's tendency to have the final word. Odiana is very talented and also very quick to react - which can be a great bonus - but just as easily, it can result in misunderstandings. Hayley is sponsored by her mum Lyn Gilbert from The Riders' Shoppe and together they are keen to make a difference to the quality of Australian performance horses. The Gilberts recently imported 3 beautifully bred filly foals from the Elite Hanoverian auction in Germany as part of an initiative by The Hanoverian Horse Society of Australia (who had a stand at this event and lots of interest in the breed) and they plan an exciting future breeding some world class horses. Odiana scored 56.421% which was well below their best, but Hayley will learn from this and tweak her next performances accordingly!
14. Claire Seidel and her elegant grey Rolex (Larundel Gandalf/Kalkcar) represented NSW and we can always expect a good performance from Claire - she is a perfectionist. I feel as though I have known Rolex for much of his life as I was present in Queensland for the inaugural Brisbane CDI and Young Dressage Horse Championships. Claire was the guest riding judge and it was easy to see that she quickly developed a soft spot for her 3/4 YO Young Horse winner. The 3 YO flowed beautifully and took the big atmosphere in his stride. Claire subsequently made arrangements to bring him home and now, with a new name and a few years good training ... here he is in FEI. Perhaps today's test lacked the polish that and time and further training will bring to the overall quality and Rolex is sure to improve his marks in the future. They scored 56.263%.
15. Victorian Warwick McLean and his imported Swedish Warmblood gelding Chiaretto (Chirlon 870/Nickolina) were the 3rd combination to go. From the ground it seems that the 15 YO black needs to be positively ridden, but at times Warwick gets more response than he expected and this creates some tense and uneven steps. The horse has plenty of ability, but as suppleness and regularity are the No 1 requirements, Chiaretto's many irregular steps proved costly. Warwick is the son of well know Equine behaviourist and horse trainer, Andrew McLean and I am sure that they will work together to resolve these issues. Warwick and Chiaretto had recent success at the Boneo Park Winter Dressage Series and they are sure to find a successful formula to overcome the faults that lost marks today. They scored 55.158%
16. Sara Thean and D'Amour travelled for days across the Nullabor to join the East Coast competitors in order to take part at these Championships. She has been involved in the sport for many years and is currently on the WA State Dressage Squad. This combination showed glimpses of quality work, but this son of the Victorian stallion Dutchman was somewhat overwhelmed and failed to show enough relaxation of the frame to give the freedom of movement to score high marks. But, this trip is sure to be part of Sara's personal development as a rider and part of finding ways to avert tension and resistance for improved results. They scored 53.474% and Sara will hope that D'Amour learns to settle and give his best.
17. NSW central coast Adam Veliere rode the sensitive and reactionary gelding Moscow (Medallion/Stirling Lilac) and must be congratulated for his calm and positive handling of his horse's wayward moments. I recall seeing a similar demonstration of tact and horsemanship when Moscow reacted to a frightening situation at Dressage with the Stars in Melbourne a few years ago. I am sure that Adam has come to expect that this horse might lose confidence or concentration ... and probably both at the same time. Today Moscow's reaction to being out on the huge arena ... and all on his own was too much and his response cost Adam any chance at success. Like many of the riders who failed to produce their horse's best, Adam will take the lessons home and look to find solutions. Adam is sponsored by Horseland and they can be well proud of his level of professionalism. 52.737% is disappointing at this level and Adam will strive to show his best in the future.
Moscow shows us his airs above the ground.
Intermediate ll presentation ceremony - from left, Susannah Gazia the Equine Nutritionist from Prydes Feeds, Susie Hoevenaars the centre line judge, Tor Van Den Berg (Heath Ryan could not be here) Gitte Donvig, Charlotte Pedersen, Fiona McNaught, Danielle Dierks and Nicole Magoffin.
The main event sponsor Horseland know how to support a competition and the presentation area was set up very well and did the company proud.