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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

All ages take to the dressage arenas to round off year

ABOVE: Medium Champion Madison Growcott and BZ Qantas. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG PHOTOGRAPHY

DRESSAGE riders of all ages had a busy weekend in Victoria over the weekend with two major competitions on the program.

The first event was the Whittlesea Plenty Valley Dressage Club Summer Championships at Werribee Park on Saturday, followed by Boneo Park’s Interschool Dressage Series final on Sunday.

At the Werribee event, Mary Hanna rode her newly imported stallion Impress Taonga (also known as Tommie) in the small tour classes and was happy with his first Australian outing.

“He is such a gentleman to take out,” she said. “I am so happy with his attitude and confidence.”

Champions in their sections were Lucy Peters’ Sahara Storm in the PSG- inter group and Rosemary Heagney’s Redgum James 007 in the advanced.

ABOVE: Liza Smith, of Mount Eliza North Primary, on Nilton Spirit. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG PHOTOGRAPHY

Madison Growcott’s BZ Qantas stood at the top of a very big class in the medium section and Bettina Kopetsky did the same with San Sebastian in the elementary group.

Jason Dins and Furstenmeyer won both classes and the championship in the novice and Selina Brendish’s Van Eyke Flume had some super scores to win the preliminary sash.

At Boneo, it was apparent that more and more youngsters are happy to take up dressage as their chosen equestrian sport.

Smiling faces and tactful judging made the series finals a happy event.

At the experienced end of the riders, Keeley Sutton’s Sandon Grove Edward was small tour champion and Claudia Grant’s Buckwell Park Archer took the elementary sash. Molly Lawrence’s Sentiment was medium champion.

The Warmblood horse seems to be the mount de jour at the higher levels but in the preparatory classes, names like Lisa Smith’s Nilton Spirit, Edith Jell-Batha’s Louie and the champion, Sophia Gentner’s Lord Matthew, show that the super ponies are still the heroes who will be long remembered when their riders stand on the dais at the Olympic Games.

ABOVE: Keeley Sutton-Sandon gives Grove Edward a well-earned pat. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG PHOTOGRAPHY

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