There was plenty of dressage action over Anzac weekend in New Zealand, and lots of international news as well! Let’s start with the local news.
The Nelson Area Dressage Group’s autumn series (sponsored by Pitt & Moore, Lawyers) included events from Introductory Pony through to Graded Level 5. There was only one Level 5 contestant, Julie Fraser with Arnage Rhumba, who scored a credible 66.184. There were good entries in the lower grades, though. Tracey Heywood on Lothario KC won the Level 2-2A with a score of 72%. In the non graded level 2-2A, Shannon Glover on Finamour took the win in one class with Inger Sundholm on Lone Star Annie winning the other. The Introductory Pony classes were won by Toffee Pop, ridden by Isabella Thurlow and Jubilee True Colours, ridden by Mikaela Macdonald.
Ashburton Dressage Group also have an autumn series, sponsored by Methven Equine Centre, and offer plenty of introductory classes. Natasha Waddell on Uptown Charlie Brown won the “Have a Go Musical” and Charlotte Roberts on Eskdale Lime N Soda won the Horse & Pony Level 2C class with Amanda Waddell on Chocolat Noir taking out the 2A class.
Up in Northland, the NEG Bayleys Autumn Series was on. Kim Manson won the IC class on Delamour, and was second in the 2C and 2D Classes on Risky Business, one class being won by Claudia Wilson on Dubbel Shot II with the other won by Tanya McKenzie on Glenrose Fire & Ice. Rebecca Rowlands won the 3C and 3D Classes on Solo.
Samsung/GTL Networks NZ Pony & Young Rider Championships
A bit of a damp event at times, but great entries meant good action all weekend at the Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre in Taupo. The number of classes offered was staggering and competitors came from the South Island as well as top of the north to participate. A big ‘well done’ to the Northland team (Mihi Shepherd, Rebecca Donovan, Sarah Scott and Hannah Underwood) who won the Area Team Challenge. Taranaki was second. There was also a North Island v South Island competition, won by the Northerners this year: the team was Hannah Underwood, Isabella Chatfield, Hannah van der Horst and Lucarne Dolley.
Anya Noble won the GP Musical Freestyle on Airthrey Highlander on a score of 65.8%, from Caitlin Benzie on Rosari Royal Gem. Anya also won the FEI GP under 25 with 64.147%. Lucarne Dolley dominated The Young Rider Weatherbeeta NZ Level 6/7 competitions, winning the Prix St George with 69.474%, the Musical Freestyle on 69.306% as well as Test 6A on a score of 68.295%. Tessa Van Bruggen won 6B on Furst Jupp. The Pony Championship winner was Kozee ridden by Alena Dorotich: the pair claimed the Hyland Trophy for their efforts. Aimee Proud and Laghmor won the Para Equestrian Championship.
Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Linda
Dressage judge Linda Warren-Davey has received a Prime Minister’s officials’ scholarship from High Performance Sport New Zealand to increase her expertise as a judge at the top level of high performance dressage.
The scholarship programme develops the skills of New Zealand officials, athletes and coaches.
Linda is a real estate agent in Ohoka, North Canterbury, and will travel to Germany and France in May, attending three CDIs. Two other ESNZ officials received a Prime Minister’s scholarship: eventing’s Margs Carline and Stuart Bishell will travel to the UK later in the year, and will attend Burghley Horse Trials as well as some other events.
Julie Brougham and Vom Feinsten make their international debut in Mannheim on April 30. We understand there will be livestreaming of this event on www.clipmyhorse.tv
German preparation for Olympics
In Germany, it was all on at the CDI in Hagen, the first of the outdoor shows, which is organised by Paul Schockemöhle and Ullrich Kasselmann and attracts around 67,000 visitors! Kristina Bröring-Sprehe on Desperados, the world number one and hot favourite, lived up to expectations in the Grand Prix and took the win with 82.8%: a personal best. All the German contenders for the Olympics were expected to appear, and they did, with the exception of Isabell Werth who had to cancel due to illness. The Germans put on great performances, filling the first four placings as well as sixth. Sonke Rothenberger and Cosmo, a young duo, were second. The pair won the Future Champions class in Hagen in 2014, so are living up to the promise they showed back then. Hubertus Schmidt, a member of the gold-medal-winning German team at the 2004 Olympics, rode Imperio into third place, with Jessica Bredow-Werndl fourth.
There are some excellent videos on You Tube in the Horses and Dreams account including this one on Kristina Bröring-Sprehe’s winning test (above). https://youru.be/ypDPZKg-0yE
Unfortunately, it is not all great news for the Germans, although they certainly do look strong contenders for the Olympic medals. Isabell Werth has announced “for the time being neither Bella Rose nor Don Johnson can return to competitive sport. Don Johnson will need about three to four months until his injury is cured and he can return to the competition arena. Bella Rose has not yet reached the necessary stability and consistency, which are essential for top international sport.”
While not being able to take either of these two top horses to Rio is a disappointment, Isabell is not giving up hope of riding there, and is aiming to get Olympic qualification on Emilio and Weihegold OLD.
Welcome Valegro’s little brother
A full brother to the champion Valegro has been born in The Netherlands. Valegro’s dam, Maifleur, produced Valegro (by Negro) in 2002 and has had two fillies by Negro since then. This is the 22-year-old mare’s first colt foal since Valegro. He’s a chestnut (like his mum) with a big white blaze. Word is he will be called Lelegro. We hope he has his big brother’s talent.