Story and Pictures by Berni Saunders
Manely Equine Elementary Championship - Page 1
I very much enjoyed the Elementary competitions as at this level the horses with good natural talent stand out ... and further training will usually take these horses on to be outstanding. It is notable that so many of the top horses are fully imported with just a few of the higher placed horses bred in Australia by imported stallions. In dressage terms, the world is getting smaller and we are stepping up to the mark with the improvement in the horses we are riding and the quality of our training and preparation.
The Championship at each level where there are two classes are decided by the placings in the two classes and not by adding the scores together. Here are some pictures and comments.
Walking towards the indoor arena from the stables - what a lovely venue. Australia is very lucky to have this world class facility.
1. The winner of the Elementary Championship for 2009 was the imposing 5 YO stallion San Jose (Sandro Hit/Raja) and Matthew purchased the horse in Germany from a friend and has taken him right through his training. San Jose has such wonderful rhythm and expression and he represents just what the judges are looking for in the early days of training. Matthew is no stranger to big occasion riding and he was well prepared and the test a joy to watch. They scored 75.250 in the 3C and 71.197% in the 3D for an aggregate score of 146.447
2. Hot on Matthew's heels was Queensland's Tor Van Den Berg riding Lauries As (Londonderry/Pik Lady) - another imported stallion owned by Remi Stud and representing the Hanoverian breed. "Ace" has proven his trainability with no questions as he only arrived in Australia this time last year with just the basic young horse training behind him. Tor started with him in April/May and Ace is established in Elementary/Medium with the half passes and changes of the quality to see him with a 2nd in Elementary and 3rd Medium levels at the top event in the country. Great credit to this wonderful horse and also credit to his rider/trainer. They scored 73.167% in the 3C test and 71.624 in the 3D making a total of 144.781.
3. Again from Queensland, petite professional Nicole Tough rode the stunning imported dapple grey Oldenberger gelding Dante (Depardieu/Schimel) and Nicole's attention to detail and perfect preparation saw her with just reward. Third at the Nationals was a terrific result particularly when the horse has shown his sensitive and reactionary side at local competitions. He is young and seems to have learned the lessons well. Outstanding was the horse's frame and steadiness - well done Nic. The scores were 69.500% in the 3C test and 67.350% for 3D so 136.850 as an aggregate.
4. They must be putting something in the water up there in Queensland as these championships have really challenged the long standing NSW dominance. This is one of my special favourite horses and even though chestnut is not my favourite colour, GB Winchester could come and live with me any time Gary gets tired of him!!
Gary Lung rose to stardom when he stepped out in the young horse classes on this quality son of Weltmeyer (from GB Saffron and bred by Glenys Barrey). Winchester is so expressive and Gary has done a fine job with his early training. They scored 67.333% for 3C and 64.274% in the 3D making a total of 131.607%
5. NSW rider Rodney Martin partnered by the glorious Hanoverian
Falstermeyer (Falsterbo/Waliente) and this attractive combination worked well at Elementary level and show great promise and the talent to go on. 66.083% in the 3C class and 67.436% in the 3D
Even though Rodney's score was slightly higher than that of GB Winchester, the way the Championships are decided by the placings in each class.
6. At last a Victorian is represented in the higher rankings - Judy Smith on her lovely imported Hanoverian mare Duchess 2 (De Niro X Rosana M). Duchess is such a lady and it was a very obedient and accurate test for 66.333% in the 3C test and 63.932% in the 3D making a total of 130.265 overall.
7. Kate Wilson from Queensland was next on Dallas (Dacaprio/Chanel) but unfortunately I did not get their picture. They scored 66.333% om the 3C test and 63.675% in the 3D and a total of 130.009.
8.Judy Smith again representing Victoria on the imported Hanoverian mare Comtesse (Cordoba/Wunderschoene) and the test started brilliantly for Judy with Tess' beautiful trot a highlight.
The mare was less balanced and comfortable in her canter work and this brought the scores down. Judy will address this in the future and Tess is sure to show her true potential in all paces. Dr Jochen Wilkens from the Hanoverian Verband in Germany was most impressed with this lovely mare when he was classifying horses in Australia. They scored 66.750% in the 3C and 63.163% in the 3D for 129.912 overall.
9 One of my favourites - Jacana TK (Ulke/Ymkje 2) and Jeremy Janjic stepped out in fine style. The imposing Dutch Friesian stallion was importer in Utero and has impressed many during his 2009 dressage campaign. The breed is attracting new converts all over Australia. This ancient breed is perfect for the sport as they have such energy and expression in their movement and the calm trainable disposition which is just as important. Lynn Jenkin from Tashkent Friesians also owns the charismatic Django of Cacharel who has made history as the first Friesian stallion to win an FEI class in Australia I am sure that there will be lots more in the future as they have such talent for the high scoring piaffe/passage tour! Jacana scored 67.167% for the 3C test and 62.479% in the 3D making 129.645 and 9th place overall.
10. Melinda Hart from NSW and Richmond H an imported Hanoverian stallion by the legendary Rubenstein from Wendy. He showed some lovely flowing work and is set to go on up the grades. Richmond H scored 64.667% in the 3C and 64.103% for 6th place in the 3D.
11. Yarra Valley Rodrigo (Regardez Moi/Hollingrove Fantasia and the talented Victorian professional Justine Greer did a very nice test and his owners John and Liz Wright-Smith would have been very pleased with their horse's Nationals performance. Justine was well prepared and ensured that the accuracy was spot on. They scored 65.917% in the 3C test and 63.419% for the 4D.
12. Brett Davey from NSW has enjoyed some great achievements as a young rider and now goes on to join the senior ranks. Brett rode Coolcoola Montage (Gymnastic Star/Gracious Victory) and not so long back his scores would be winning numbers. With such superstars in the competition, Brett will need to add a little more 'wow factor' to his horse's performance - but it was a nice test with a lot to commend. The score was 64.583% in the 3C and 63.932% for 3D.
13. Ruth Schneeberger from SA riding Cheryl Hatswell's Ponderosa Stud Lucarno scored 66.333% in the 3C test and 61.282% in the 3D. I did not get a picture of this combination.
14. From Queensland, Tammy Stephens on River Range Carolina (Northern Classic/RR Catherine) I took this picture in their Medium test (hence the double bridle). Tammy did a very nice test but I missed a good picture. It was accurately ridden and flowing and perhaps for higher marks a little more energy and expression was needed. There was a lot to like and I am sure that this combination will improve greatly from the experience. They scored 65.583% in the 3C and 61.966% in the 3D.
15. Another from Queensland Elliot Patterson on the imported Hanoverian gelding Leandro (Lauries Crusader/Hauptstutbuch Aquino) and a lovely loose and imposing horse he is. Without knowing the history, this seemed like a combination with a huge future, but not quite together just yet. One to watch!!
They scored 68.667% in the 3C for 4th place and 60.256% in the 3D