Nationals News - Day 1, 29th October, 2009
Story and Pictures by Berni Saunders
Manely Equine Elementary Championship - Page 2
As mentioned, I felt that the Elementary class was very strong and most horses showed great potential to train on. Many say that Elementary is the first level of 'real dressage' as it asks for a degree of collection, the first encounter of true lateral work and simple changes which test the horse's obedience and balance. Riders will agree that the step from Novice to Elementary is a big one and tests the quality of the basic training from breaking in to this point. Horses that have not been asked to engage more to achieve the first steps of collection will fail to develop a higher degree of collection and suspension and keep a correct contact. I am sure that I would not be the only judge that believes that bad training or acceptance needs to be noted in the marks and good training and the correct responses from the horse should be similarly rewarded - this is make or break time.
The National Championships always attracts a good crowd - the dogs were not that interested but enjoyed a day out on the lead.
16. Victorian combination - Keryn Conners on Exklusive Armani (Benito/Marsden Park Early Light) put together a nice test. Keryn acknowledged that she rode a little carefully as in the early days she could have her hands full keeping a lid on her horse's sensitive and reactionary temperament. She has done well to gain his confidence and respect and now they work as a team. She was pleased with her Nationals tests as everything went to plan. They scored 63.417% for the 3C and 61.538% for the 3D
17 Deborah Schofield from NSW rode her attractive brown mare Venus (Vivaldi/Rainstar Girl) and this was a sweet test from a very feminine mare. The Nationals is a real test for the horses as they have to be very established at their level and have the special talent to draw the high marks. Venus perhaps needs a little more energy and drive with the hind legs but I felt that Deborah was on track to make these improvements. The scores were 62.583% for 3C and 61.709% for the more difficult 3D.
18. NSW professional Lizzie Wilson-Fellows rode Susan Fidler's attractive and talented mare Let's Entertain (Gracefield Klaus /Springfield Ava) and this lovely mare perhaps tried too hard and lost some balance and ease of movement - I felt that it was a 'high class problem" but in fairness the judges must judge what they see and not second guess the reasons for losses of balance and other small faults which are penalised in the marks. Lizzie rode a tactful test and it is easy to see the potential for the future. The scores were 63.083% for the 3C and 61.197% for the 3D test.
19. Queensland rider Emma Flavelle impressed us all on her wonderful mare Northern Meara who made a great impression at GP. Emma rode Andiamo (Anamour/BardotXX) in this class for a score of 65.167% in the 3C class and 60.171% in the 3D. For higher marks, the horse needed to show more swing and looseness.
20. Alana Houlison from NSW rode her attractive gelding Dicavalli Caruso (Carbine/Alita) and there were some very nice moments in this test. Some parts of this performance lacked lightness and swing, but there is potential and a lot to like. They scored 63.167% for the 3C test and 60.684% for the 3D.
21. Neversfelde Jinx (Jazz/Harvest Madagscar) and Kim Kleven from NSW made an attractive picture and Kim rode tactfully for a very smooth test. Jinx is the most beautiful dapple brown and from my vantage point he seemed very steady and obedient. This was another nice test but lacked the special flair that makes winners at National level. The scores were 63.333% for 3C and 60.256% in the more demanding 3D test.
22. Tracie Ellis and her imposing Hanoverian gelding Remi Louis Armstrong (Lanthan/Remi Wyndham) made the trip from Queensland and will have gained a lot from the preparation and experience of such a big competition. The scores were 64.176% in the 3C and 60.085% in the 3D.
23.Victorian Justine Greer on Alexander Park River Mason (Kendalee Riverdisc/Foxy Roxy) Unfortunately I did not get a picture of this combination but they scored 62.917% in the 3C and 60.513% in the 3D
24. Victorian Katrina Bolmat on her tall gelding Hollands Bend Rotteufel (Rotspon/Larundal Garnet) this 18 hand gelding is not the type usually produced by his sire Rotspon and I am sure that he will come into his own, as he matures and becomes stronger. He seems to struggle with the balance at times, Katrina rode him tactfully and accurately. The 3C test scored 62.083% and for the 3D 60.769% was recorded.
25. Kim McDonald riding Reveller (Rotspon/Neversfelde Fonteyn)
It was interesting to note the two very different types by Rotspon and for me Reveller is much more to type than the Katrina's horse as mentioned above. Reveller is a lovely boy but perhaps not well enough established in his frame and self carriage to challenge the more experienced horses in this class. But I like the horse and also most of the test and feel that there is a good future for this combination. The 3C test was awarded 61.583% and the 3D 61.026%
26. Rebecca Haythorpe from Victoria riding Marine Park Atlantas a thoroughbred by Fusiachi Pegasus / Satin n Silk) Unfortunately I missed this test and the chance to get a picture. They scored 61.167% for the 3C and 60.342% for the 3D.
27. Cheryl Ludlow and Romeo's Tune (Duntroon/Merrily) from NSW. presented an obedient test, but the horse needed more lift and expression in the work in order show the quality that the judges are looking for at this level. The scores were 62.167 for the 3C test and 59.487% for 3D.
28. Leasa Stephen and Galanthus made the trip from Queensland and this lovely stallion by Gymnastic Star from Gabriela was one I had pencilled in for particular attention. I have known Leasa for quite a while and followed the progress of her horses quite closely.
Unfortunately Galanthus seemed to be distracted ... or a little overwhelmed by the environment (he is a young stallion) and did not give Leasa his best work. As she is a perfectionist, she will be disappointed but it is all part of the learning curve and a chance to build experience. The scores were 3C - 62.417% and 58.462% for the 3D - below his potential but we have all experienced the times when the horse is off in another place when we most need his attention!
29. Jarrah Kelton and PT Madison Square (Co-Partners/Kintala Skye) this is another test that I missed. The scores were 61.583% for the 3C and 59.744% for the 3D
30. Cornelia O'Mahoney from NSW riding Jive Talkin BP (Jive Magic/Donna Karan) - missed this one too! 3C scored 59.750% and for the 3D it was 57.778%.
31. From Queensland, Karen Crommelin riding the beautifully bred Hanoverian mare Remi London Belle. They performed well below the lead up competitions so there must have been a problem, but I did not see the test. The 3C scored 57.750% and the 3D 58.034%
32. Susan Elekessy rode her tall and leggy Hanoverian gelding Don Frederick (Don Frederico/Remi Wedgewood) but he lacked collection and engagement in today's performances. There were some nice moments but not consistent enough for the National Championships. The scores were 57.667% for the 3C and 57.607% for the 3D. I have included a picture from the Medium class.
33. Victorian young rider Bianca Truda rode her attractive grey gelding Monarch Discovery (Medallion/Diamond Delight) but this was another test that needed more engagement and suspension to be competitive with the top scorers in this class. Bianca is a keen student of the sport and it is all great experience. They scored 57.250% in the 3C test and 56.581 in the 3D.
34.Anne Behringer and her very tall gelding Nandewar Royal Rhythm (Royal Diamond/Thorn Park Sonet). Anne got the ride on a scratching which reveals that they were lacking the match practise of some. Anne is a well respected and experienced rider and I look forward to seeing this imposing fellow in another years time. The scores today were 56.917% for the 3C and 54.103% for the 3D.
35.This placing is a case of "last, but certainly not least"! Victorian Sylvia McLachlan was hardly in the race on her imposing gelding Avignon lV, (a German import by Abanos/Bolero) as the horse came out of the stable for his second test, not quite sound. Sylvia said, "It was not worth taking the risk as I really was not sure what the problem was. I felt it best to scratch, such a shame when I travelled so far!"
I took the picture above at a recent competition when the wind was howling and a sand storm was happening at Werribee Park. In this chaos, Avignon showed some sensational changes in his medium test. Today he scored 59.829% in the 3D test and had no 3C to add.
Elementary 3C presentation from right - Matthew Dowsley, Tor Van Den Berg, Nicole Tough, Elliot Patterson, Gary Lung, Jeremy Janjic, Judith Smith, Kate Wilson with the Judge Jan Smith from Victoria and the representative from Manely Equine and everyone appreciated their support.
Elementary 3D presentation from right - The representative from Manely Equine, Tor Ven Den Berg, Matthew Dowsley, Nicole Tough, Gary Lung, Melinda Hart, Judith Smith and the C Line Judge, Julie Bland from Queensland.
The Elementary Champion for 2009 is Matthew Dowsley who rode San Jose and the runner up Tor Ven Den Berg who rode Lauries As.