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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: New OTT classes, two farewells and a birthday

THE word “legendary” is thrown around much too often but champion showjumping rider and coach Art Uytendaal, who celebrated his 92nd birthday this week, deserves that accolade. He was unbeatable in the ‘70s and ‘80s with a team of great horses, and was the coach of several top-level riders. Many have offered him birthday wishes according to his wife, Kerry. “Art says thank you for all these amazing comments and birthday wishes. Sadly walking isn’t so easy but his mind is amazing and it is his memory I often rely on. He wishes he was 25 again, with Australia now breeding wonderful horses and oh to be jumping for $1,000,000 plus today.”


TIM Clarke is the new chairman of Equestrian Victoria. Tim moved into the role after Christie Freeman resigned to take up a position on the Equestrian Australia board.


WITH the strong focus on off-the-track Thoroughbreds, the announcement of the 2022/2023 Racing Victoria Off-The-Track (OTT) Dressage Series gives these horses another opportunity.

It’s to be conducted at official EA Boneo Park dressage competitions including the December, January and March events, at preliminary and novice level. Two tests at each level, on each competition day, will be offered. As well as competing in the open classes, OTT horses will also be eligible for separate placings against other OTT horses as well as in the overall series leader board.

The three best percentage scores will count for each combination for the series leader board. The rider with the highest three scores will be the winner of the series.

A leaderboard will be kept by Boneo Park and posted on their website with the winner, second and third placegetters at the end of the year awarded at each level, with prize money of $2000 for first, $1000 for second and $500 for third in each level.


BLYTH Tait, one of New Zealand’s best known equestrians, will be the young horses judge at the upcoming Jumping and Dressage With The Stars event at Werribee Park.

Tait competed in four Olympic Games for four medals. He also won the world individual and team titles twice (1990 and 1998). He completed his competitive career in Athens in 2004 and in 2008 was New Zealand’s eventing manager.


THE Equestrian world lost two great ladies in the past month.

Lola Anderson was a popular and successful competitor and judge of show horses and riders for many years. She spent much of her time living in Yea, Victoria. She judged at Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart and Toowoomba Royals and Brisbane and Launceston Nationals. Lola was an expert on equestrian turnout and was a mentor to many in turnout events, including the famous Garryowen.

Wanda Nelson was an integral part of the development of equine sport in Western Australia and many of the state’s top riders (past and present) have been touched by her advice and commitment. She was one of the instigators of the Pony Club movement in WA (1961) and a bastion for the development of dressage sport in the state. She served on Equestrian Australia’s Federal Council.

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