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Dedicated riders star at youth dressage champs

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From January 16-19, almost 150 dedicated young riders aged from eight to 25 made the journey to Fiona Selby’s stunning Boneo Park Equestrian Centre to compete in the 2020 2 Construct Victorian Youth Dressage Championships. Although the clouds loomed and the wind was strong, competitors remained undeterred as they danced around the arenas under the eyes of internationally accredited judges. Paired with a vibrant trade village, spectators and parents had much to enjoy.

Day One began with the Toorak College Interschool classes, which provide a pathway for these riders into official competitions. Shayleigh Joblin riding Maxwell Matador Royale claimed the Toorak College Primary Preliminary, Tayla Anderson and Rimondi D won the Toorak College Intermediate Preliminary, and Montre Midnight Storm won the Toorak College Senior Preliminary Championship.

Day Two marked the start of the official classes. Despite the wind gusts, all riders had big smiles on their faces at the end of the day, particularly championship winners Charlie Welsh on MSJ Tia Fortuna who won the Riddells Creek Dressage Elementary Championship, Emily Yeoman on Cambridge Park Charli Brown who took out the Carol Hayes Pony Elementary Championship, Olivia Gillespie on Versace I who won the Carol Hayes Advanced Championship, and Shayleigh Joblin on Maxwell Matador Royale who took home the Toorak College Interschool Primary Novice Championship. Jasmine Abernethy had a successful day claiming the Toorak College Interschool Intermediate Novice, while Ellie Holland on Vollrath Dornkaat won the Toorak College Interschool Senior Novice Championship, and Marni Clapham on Frantonio won the FEI Para Grade I Team Test.

A sunny afternoon on Day Three saw Ella Robinson on Carool Furst Denali take out the Mornington Toyota Novice Championship. Ella also won the Taylor Farley Memorial Award for being the highest placed novice competitor under the age of 18. Emily Yeoman on Cambridge Park Charli Brown won the Lauriston Park Dressage Pony Novice Champion. Rosemary Heagney was awarded the Australian Sports Pony Registry Rising Star Award for the highest placed rider under the age of 16. On a close countback, Rebecca Holmes and Bellaire Cobra won the Charlies Cookies Medium Championship with Maddi Growcott and BZ Flynn taking home Reserve Champion. Sky Wright and Kamber Merfyn won the Muskikur Dressage to Music Elementary Freestyle. Taittinger VDS and I had a ball in the Carol Hayes Advanced Freestyle to receive first place. The day ended with the Dancing Horse Barbeque and disco, which was a highlight of the night.

All riders were out in force for the championships’ final day. Paige Koliba riding Loriot Skyes the Limit won the Sabble Farm FEI-Pony Championship, Matilda Bills and High Heelz Firfod claimed the Marcus Oldham FEI-Junior Championship, and Jessica Dertell on Eskara De Jeu took out both the Ellanbrae Park W Esther De Jeu FEI-Young Rider Championship and the Stable Ground FEI Small Tour Championship. Alicia Ryan and Bluefields Furstentanz won the Marcus Oldham Medium Tour Championship and Lindsey Ware and Aristede won the Stable Ground FEI Under-25 Grand Prix Championship. Keely Smith on Cooparitz won the Hi Form and Harry’s Choice Participation Novice Championship, and Indi Officer on Devlin Park Time Will Tell won the Motor One Group Preliminary Championship. Jessica Payne riding Corvan Park Cora Lynn won the Australian Sports Pony Registry Pony Preliminary Championship and Indi Officer continued her successful day winning the Musikur Dressage to Music Novice Freestyle on Devlin Park Time Will Tell. Louisa Inge riding Road to Jamieson won the Charlies Cookies Medium Freestyle. 

This event could not have been run without the incredible efforts of Jan Smith, Kaitlyn McGill, Aengus Wright, Susan Ryan, Donna Desmet and all the fabulous people who tirelessly worked behind the scenes, including the judges, the sponsors and every parent and competitor who volunteered over the weekend. Thank you to all for providing our young riders with the opportunity to showcase their talents in a supportive and encouraging environment. Suffice to say, people will be working towards next year’s competition beginning tomorrow. I know I will be.


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