Great Weekend ahead at the National Dressage Championships 2013

It’s come around again!  Next weekend (Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th October) sees the Australian National Dressage Championships at SIEC.  This is going to be an amazing weekend and a chance to see some great combinations of the top Australian riders and horses.  The depth of talent and experience we now have in Australian Dressage is amazing, as well as some really great younger riders coming through to challenge the old hands. Competition will be incredibly strong.  This is a chance to see the combinations that will be representing Australia at future World Equestrian Games and the Olympics.

A special congratulations, and big welcome, to Judith Beint-Tapp and Checkmate (Chester) who are competing in their first Nationals in the Intermediate 1 and will be travelling all the way from King River Station, near Katherine.  Their story is truely amazing – you can read about it, and hear the interview, on the related link below: Station Stock Horse to National Dressage Championships.

You can get the full draw for each day of the competition here: Time Draw

I am very excited to have Albert entered into the Prix St. Georges (Thursday) and the Intermediate 1 (Friday).  We will be looking to improve on our performances from the NSW State Championships.  I am so looking forward to it.

You can find a full programme of events, ticketing, trade village and a lot more on the Dressage NSW site:  Click Here

Looking forward to seeing you there…….Do come and say hello:-)

Ride Well!


All the Olympic Equestrian news from London – Equestrian Life

If you missed out on any of the Olympic Equestrian News from London then Click Here to  go to Equestrian Life’s excellent summary of its coverage.  Access all the great photos by Franz Venhaus and interviews with Ricky MacMillan.  Also the daily reports from Chris Stafford.

Ride Well!


Thanks to Equestrian Life

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro’s Gold Medal Grand Prix Freestyle

Here it is!!! Amazing 🙂

Ride Well!


Glory and Gold for Charlotte Dujardin in Kur to Music Finals at 2012 Olympic Games | eurodressage

Eurodressage’s review of the freestyle is worth reading.  Click on the link to see it.

Glory and Gold for Charlotte Dujardin in Kur to Music Finals at 2012 Olympic Games | eurodressage.

Ride Well!


Olympic Grand Prix Freestyle Results

GB win Gold and Bronze!  Amazing competition.  Congratulations to all the riders and the horses.  You have all set new standards.

Congratulations Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro.

Go for Gold!

Click here if you want to see the starting order.

Ride Well!


Olympics Grand Prix Special- Who will win Gold?

This is a good summary of the horses and riders competing tonight in the Grand Prix Special:

Equestrian Life – The scene is set for a spectacular Grand Prix Special- Who will win Gold?.

Ride Well!


Thanks to Equestrian Life

Final Grand Prix Special Results – Gold for GB

Gold for Great Britain.  Last best Olympic position was 5th so this is a fantastic achievement – many congratulations to the team. Here are the final Grand Prix Special results (team and individual).  Nail biting competition.  Congratulations to all the competitors 🙂

Click here if you want to see the starting order.

Ride Well!


Lucky Dutch in Olympic Grand Prix Special Draw

Here is the draw for the Olympic Grand Prix Special on Tuesday 7th August.  Will be another great competition so I’m looking forward to some amazing performances.

Click on this link to see it:

Lucky Dutch in Olympic Grand Prix Special Draw | eurodressage.

Ride Well!


Thanks to Eurodressage

Stephen Clarke – President Olympic Judges Panel – on the Olympic Grand Prix Competition

Eurodressage have published this interview with Stephen Clarke, president of the Olympic Judges Panel.  He thinks this is the highest level of performance ever at an Olympics.  He was really impressed with Charlotte Dujardin’s performance (an Olympic record score of 83.66%) with Valegro.  His comments on the “risks” Charlotte took in her test are very interesting.

I think the judges have a really difficult task to do, and so often come under huge criticism from spectators and riders at all levels of competition. Sure they make mistakes – who doesn’t?  Stephen Clarke and some of the other judges talk here about how they improve their skills at Olympic judging level. So good to hear from a riders point of view.

Let’s get behind them for the great job they do for our sport.

Judge Well!


Thanks to Eurodressage for this article:

Stephen Clarke, president of the Olympic Judges Panel in London, says the level of the Grand Prix dressage is beyond what has ever been witnessed. “The very high level shown by all the riders, I feel sure that this must be the highest overall standard of any Olympic Games in history,” Clarke stated.

Smashing the previous Olympic record with her score of 83.66% on Valegro, Charlotte Dujardin took out the first round of the London dressage yesterday. Stephen was impressed.

“The breath taking risks that Charlotte Dujardin took with her wonderful horse Valegro and they all came off too! It seems that ‘Who dares- wins’!!”

Leading a team of the world’s best, Stephen says the judges were all confident, ready, and on the ball for the entirety of the action packed two days!

“We all took comfort in the knowledge that we were each judging every movement of every horse as we saw it with absolutely no political bias.”

And with such a demanding task the judges had very little time to rest and had to do their best to keep their minds focused on their massively rewarding and all important role!

Dutch O-judge Wim Ernes

“We had only three short breaks of 15 minutes, so just time enough for a coffee and a bathroom break. And we were all too concentrated on the dressage to think about eating. There were some sandwiches available, but we knew the time was tight on the showground, so we had a good breakfast and then found some charming restaurants in Greenwich Village for dinner in the evenings.”

With the judges’ meeting at the conclusion of each of the Grand Prix section, Stephen says that these discussions play a vital and interesting role in the Olympic schedule.

“We discuss any and all differences in marks, whilst respecting that some exercises may well give different impressions from all the different angles.  We had some great discussions – the wonderful thing about this sport is that we can all learn something from each other every single day as long as we keep our minds open whilst remaining true to our core principles. In the end the conclusion was that even when there were slight differences, the ‘team result’ from seven judges, backed up by the ‘safety net’ of the JSP produced the correct result.”

With the technology of the sport of dressage now at such an elite level, riders and judges can be extremely confident in their results. However sometimes technology can be rather distracting and even the point of great disappointment.

Danish O-judge Leif Tornblad

“I felt very sorry for the Canadian Team and David Marcus, with his horse spooking at the ‘Jurassic Park’ television camera! You would think in these days of modern technology that the cameras could be able to zoom in from a more discrete place than right by the arena!”

Now set for more dressage spectaculars, Stephen says he will never forget taking his seat arena side in London and knows he is part of something truly special.

“The atmosphere was spine tingling. The most exciting competition I have ever judged in my life, and I’m sure that I can say the same for my colleagues. I will remember from today witnessing beautiful dressage in the most incredibly beautiful venue. The only difficulty for the judges was remaining calm in this very heightened atmosphere and simply do our job, but I think that we managed it!”

Text by Sarah Warne for Eurodressage

Photos © Astrid Appels

Related Link

Eurodressage On the Scene at the 2012 Olympic Games

via A Presidential View on the Olympic Grand Prix | eurodressage.