must go to the Western Victorian Dressage Club for bringing back a rather nice tradition
from the past ... 'the Twilight Dressage Competition'!
I think it was the Victorian Dressage Club that conducted their twilight
event, some years ago at Flowerfield in Lilydale. At this time of the year,
riding in the late daylight makes for a very nice way to miss the heat that can be
experienced in the middle of the day, and surely must be one of the positive benefits of
The Western Victorian Club decided last year to
abolish the FEI classes from their Annual Championships which are held in Colac, in
May. I was told that the competition has grown to a size which makes the setting up
and surfacing a ring for the FEI classes not feasible. Now with such a focus on the
Freestyle to music, there is also a need for a good and reliable sound system.
This event has been established to ensure that the Western Victorian Dressage Club
give FEI riders the opportunity to have some much valued practice before the State Championships which will be held in
two weeks, at Werribee Park.
Dirk and Sicca Dijkstra have allowed the club to use
their wonderful facilities at the Australian Equestrian Academy - Burong.
It is certainly an outstanding venue with a
sensational surface - which seems to be quite dust free with good secure going. The
property is very well set up and has a real rustic feel with an old fashioned 'saloon'
building, and lots of farm out-buildings including a shearing shed - just the place for
square dancing (perhaps this will happen sometime into the future)!
Being an exclusive FEI competition, the entries were
quite small, and not all of the regular FEI competitors made an appearance.
Gitte Donvig was one who made the trip to Winchelsea
from Macedon. She has recently returned from her 12 month trip to Europe. She
was riding Londoner - the outstanding gelding that her mum Mary Hanna purchased from Heath
Ryan about 7 years ago.
Even though he had been inspected by two vets when
he was purchased, Londoner showed some lameness about twelve months later. In spite
of various treatments, it was reported that the horse had deteriorated badly enough to
place his survival in great doubt and his condition became the subject of a court action
against one of the vets who allegedly failed to pick an x-ray abnormality. It
is commonly understood that there was a huge out of court settlement, and like me,
most people thought that we would never see Londoner in competition again, as his
complaint was said to be so serious that his performance career was at an end.
This weekend however, Londoner looked 'fighting fit'
and won the Prix St George class with a great percentage score of 64.57% - almost 5% clear
of HP Artemus and Charlotte Pedersen - well done Gitte.