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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: A special visit, overseas news and NT rider up for major award

ABOVE: Rejoice makes a new friend at Rushworth.

DARTMOOR Ponies are reasonably rare in Australia, so when Karen Parrish took her dainty championship-winning filly Rejoice to visit residents at the Rushworth Retirement Home in Victoria it was a very special treat. “What an absolute star she was having a meet-and-greet with the residents,” Karen said. “Even happy to go inside to see those in their rooms who were unable to get out to the gardens. One resident in particular really connected with her. Non-verbal and bed-ridden and she was completely different with him than others. She went right up beside the bed and nuzzled him. It brought tears to my eyes.”


AUSTRALIA has finished in sixth place at the Wellington International Nations Cup CSIO4*.

Eleven nations competed in the showjumping event, over two rounds of competition and was the feature class of the week-long show in Wellington, Florida.

Australia’s team was Lauren Balcomb riding Verdini d'Houtveld, David Cameron riding Oaks Come By Chance, Thaisa Erwin riding Vanturo and Matt Williams riding ABC Quantum Cruise.

“It was two rounds of tough competition tonight and our team showed some great performances with new young horses that are stepping up to this Nations Cup level,” EA High Performance Jumping Manager, Todd Hinde said.

“It is always a privilege to be competing amongst some of the most quality combinations from around the world, so for the Australian team to finish overall in sixth place, it shows the camaraderie and hard work from all four riders and their teams. This definitely shows promising things to come for the future.”


NORTHERN Territory disabled dressage rider Luke Purtill Luke has been selected as a finalist in the Sportsperson of the Year category for the 2023 Northern Territory Sports Awards.

The winner will be announced at the Award Ceremony on Saturday, April 1.


WANDA Nelson, who died in late January, was a pioneer of dressage and a driving force from 1961 to her retirement. Her many friends mourn her passing and Joanne Fowler and Val Mayger have put together a reflection of her life to share with others. Follow this link to read it.


THE Australian Stock Horse Society has released the results of the 2023 board elections.

Elected for NSW are David Ricketts and Patricia Thomas and elected for South Queensland, Judi Powell. The society thanks the outgoing directors Brett Welsh, Sara Grills and David Nash for their contributions.


EQUESTRIAN Australia has made some changes in the High Performance leadership.

Will Enzinger has been appointed as High Performance Director, taking the helm effective from March 1.

Enzinger has been the EA Deputy High Performance Director to Chris Webb and Performance Pathways Manager since January 2020. He has been involved in equestrian for many years and has a strong background in high performance, sport management and strategic planning. Enzinger is a level three eventing specialist coach, and competes in eventing. Will has been closely involved with the leadership of the program, including leading the team to the recent World Championships in Denmark and Italy.


THE Australian Outback Spectacular on the Gold Coast in June includes “Mastery of the Horse” seminars. With a list of trainers like Warwick Schiller, Brett Parbery, Clem Smith, Dan Steers and Cody Rawson Harris on the program, it looks like one to be marked on the calendar.


IT SEEMS that once again vaccination requirements for Australian- based dressage horses qualified to start at the FEI World Cup final in Omaha, Nebraska, next month have not been fulfilled.

The vaccination schedule required by the FEI, combined with the requirements to enter the US, presents significant issues for Australia’s World Cup final hopes.

Late vaccinations were one of the reasons that almost prevented the Australian Para Dressage team’s FEI World Championship campaign last year.

Charlotte Phillips riding Jane Bruce’s CP Dresden and Kerry Mack on her home-bred Mayfield Limelight are qualified to go on the self-funded trip but it seems FEI events require horses to be vaccinated for EI. An initial primary course of two vaccinations must be given; the second vaccination must be administered within 21-92 days of the first. Horses may compete seven days after receiving the second vaccination of the primary course.

US importation regulations require that “the horse has not been vaccinated with a live, attenuated or inactivated vaccine during the 14 days immediately preceding exportation” so the riders are denied the chance to ride for their country. Fans of the sport are angry and asking for answers saying strongly that EA has to lift its game.

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