top of page
  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Dressage club gallops in to help out show horse fraternity

ABOVE: Winner of the preliminary pony championship Summer Cox with her family and mum, Kathryn, who took out the grooms award. Picture: ISSIE HILL

IF there was a competition for the most proactive equestrian organisation in Victoria, Tatura’s dressage club would be hard to beat.

With their event series final planned for early October, the local horse shows were dropping off the calendar with rain cancellations, so the committee decided to add a “pop-up” show horse event to the program.

“We pride ourselves on producing good surfaces for our competitions and our knowledge of over 15 years at the venue and living in the area help us make the calls we need running events,” organiser Sue Terry said.

“When the opportunity arose for us to help, we had four days to organise Equestrian Victoria judges and get enough competitors to cover costs.

“With the help of Future Farm’s Kate Dertell, Fox Equestrian’s Mitch Fox, Bree Petree and Julie Scougall we managed to get enough entries and ran a marvellous day.”

Kerry Tempest-Clarke and Rob Clarke answered the late call to judge and with good humour, great respect and sportsmanship made the day.

The club also has a solid commitment to life after racing for a breed that is often overlooked as competition mounts, the Standardbred.

“The Standardbred Derby is a special event, where Standardbreds are chosen to compete in the preliminary 1B with riders that are drawn from a pool of our senior riders.

“They have around 30 minutes to get acquainted and then ride the test.”

The results and comments from Virginia Creed, who was the judge on the day, prove how successful these horses can be for dressage horses when trained and ridden correctly.

“I was so impressed with the quality of these horses and the standard of the presentation,” Virginia said.

“Congratulations to the owners, trainers and handlers. Also, special congratulations to the riders in the derby. These horses were beautifully ridden and it was wonderful to see you all supporting each other.”

ABOVE: Novice champion Annie Kesterton, novice champion Skyla Cox and Rockfire U Turn and Champion Standardbred prep dressage champion Natasha Rogers and Future Bliss. Pictures: ISSIE HILL

This year the club introduced a led Standardbred horse in training section to bring the local trainers into the competition. The class promotes the derby and also puts trainers in touch with those who may wish to take in a Standardbred straight out of the stable.

This year’s winner was the Janelle Bunfield-owned, Brett Bunfield-trained Spencer, who showed his class by winning on the Saturday then racing and winning on the Sunday.

In the straight dressage arena, grand prix rider Leonie Tainsh returned to riding dressage after 11 years. Riding her driving mare in the restricted section, she promptly scored a 71 per cent, with smiles all round.

Tatura Dressage’s secretary Tanya Mcdermott said the club was “proud of what we have a achieved, and excited for the future”.

“We have a small but incredibly dedicated and experienced team and we are passionate about good governance, quality competitions and excellence in horsemanship while still having fun,” she said.


Preliminary horse: Debbie Turcos with New Orleans Busker

Novice horse: Annie Kesterton with Two Views Equine Obi

Elementary: Javais Ham with Mayfield Fez

Medium: Javais Ham with Sevenoaks Romanov

Advanced: Dallas Mills on Mellizo Park Royal M

Small Tour: “Tulloch Ard” Memorial Trophy, Julie Scougall Genuine River

Preliminary pony: Summer Cox and Calveston Helanic Royale

Novice pony: Skyla Cox and Rockfire U Turn

Grooms award: Kathryn Cox

Champion novice freestyle: Duncan Terry

Champion elementary freestyle: Melanie Ford

Champion medium freestyle: Grantulla Leviathan

Standardbred classes

Champion Led Standardbred in Training: No Motive, trainer Craig Turnbull, handler Maddie Ray

Supreme Champion Standardbred Horse in Training: Spencer, trainer Brett Bunfield, handler

Janelle Bunfield

HRV Hero Standardbred Derby

First: Ajax Again ridden by Julie Scougall, prepared by Emily Larcombe

Second: Kasbah Kid ridden by Justin Hocking prepared by Fox Equestrian

Third: Matilda May ridden by Javais Ham, prepared by Emily Larcombe

Fourth: Future Bliss ridden by Jess Poyner, prepared by Natasha Rogers

Stories on The Regional’s website are free to read and always will be.

If you enjoyed this article you can show your support by joining our mailing list (either by filling out the form below or sending us a message).

We'd also get very excited if you put a "like" on our Facebook page.


bottom of page