Dressage News
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Western Victorian Dressage Club
FEI Twilight Challenge - 9/10th March 2002
at AEA Burong
580 Deans Marsh Rd.  Winchelsea - Page 1
Congratulations 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 daylight savings.

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.

aea1.jpg (20597 bytes) One of the glorious Peppercorn trees that ad to the atmosphere of the beautiful setting at the AEA, Burong.
aea2.jpg (22042 bytes) The view down to the main residence - well hidden by lovely well established trees.
aea3.jpg (11708 bytes) The 'saloon'
aea4.jpg (15778 bytes) AEA Burong is very well appointed with all mod cons for horses and their handlers.
aea5.jpg (13182 bytes) The avenues of tall well established cypress trees provide a picturesque windbreak.
glengault.jpg (14017 bytes) Glen Gault - President of the Western Victorian Dressage Club.
jamiemita.jpg (18652 bytes) Jamie Mita - the adorable 1 yo daughter of Julia Battams and Kevin Mita - there to support mum.
WVDC Twilight Challenge
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