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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Stars come out for dressage and jumping extravaganza

ABOVE: Indi Officer and Wisteria in the freestyle. Picture: ANGIE RICKARD

WHEN champion European rider and trainer Anky van Grunsven was brought to Australia in 1998 to present a dressage master class the organisers thought the occasion needed some enhancement.

It was decided to combine the event with a young dressage horse competition and at that point, no one would have visualised just how big the first “Dressage with the Stars” would become.

It is now the most prestigious young horse event in Australia, run over five days and attracting horses and people from all around the country.

Jumping became part of the program after the Young Jumping Horse Championship was introduced in 2002, necessitating a name change to Dressage and Jumping with the Stars.

The Young Dressage Pony Championships were added in 2010, followed by the Young Eventing Championships in 2016 and in-hand competitions in 2018.

The prestigious Marcus Oldham Aachen Challenge for riders under 25 was added in 2019, with the winner getting to visit the world’s largest horse show in Aachen Germany.

The program continues to expand with the showjumping hosting a World Cup as well as the young horse classes, young event horse classes and performance ponies.

This year in the dressage arena, the 2023 PSI Australian Young Dressage Horse Champion of Champions was the four-year-old, Selected, ridden by Elliot Patterson.

Caitlin Scott rode the winner of the six-year-old championship with Furstenglanz, owned and bred by dressage judge, Moya Jess. Caitlin and Furstenglanz were also awarded highest placed Australian-born six-year-old.

ABOVE: Caitlin Scott and Furstenglanz, owned by Moya Jess. Picture: ANGIE RICKARD

Megan Bryant and Dankesohn MBE won the strong, five-year-old class.

Jessica Dertell continues to dominate in young rider classes and won the Aachen Challenge riding Gladstone M H and Pauline Carnovale and Captain Cooks, were FEI CDI-W grand prix winners.

The Childrens Team Competition CDICh class was won by Morgan Cockerall, the 2023 FEI Childrens CDI-CH Champion.

The pony classes continue to grow in size and quality, where the Champion of Champions Pony was the charming palomino, Wischhoffs Caramba shown by Serena Ireland.

The six-year-old winner, Karen Blythe’s purebred Cob Long Park Lucky was indeed lucky, as his mother died, and Karen reared him from a foal. He was also awarded the highest placed Australian-bred.

Sophia Hill changed from eventing to showjumping to win the Champion of Champion young showjumper with Tulara Zinier. The championship for five-year-olds was won by Diamind B Franklin ridden and owned by Ally Lamb.

ABOVE: Tom McDermott and Cooley Gangster. Picture: AUSTRALIAN JUMPING

Billy Raymont’s Blue Balou PS was the six-year-old champion and Philip Lever’s Bonita the seven-year-old.

Tom McDermott took out the World Cup competition with Cooley Gangster.

The young event horse classes are judged on conformation, dressage and jumping.

The four and five-year-old class went to Samuel Jeffree’s Wimborne Caitlin and Sophia Hill’s Tulara Baltange won the six and seven-year- old class.

The Performance Pony section is in its infancy but will grow. The winner of the four and five-year-old class was Laura Hercules’ Treasured Zephyr and Tayla Ander’s Casino Nights won the six and seven-year-old class.


(Click any image to expand)


1. Emma Turnbull and Long Park Lucky.

2. GV Shines Like A Diamond ridden by Lizzie Wilson-Fellows.

3. Iresias L ridden by Brett Parberry.

4. Jumping Champion of Champions Bonita, ridden by Phillip Lever.

5. Charlie Walsh and Ellenbrae Living Daylights.

6. Tanisha Ryan and Severina.

7. Charlie Walsh and Ellenbrae Living Daylights.

8. Megan Bryant and Dankesohn MBE.

9. Chalie Walsh and Ellenbrae Felton Gold.

10. Tanisha Ryan and Sevenoaks Fenrys.

11. Sienna Wright and Owendale Beesting.

12. Anne Nelson and Rosevale Ballroom Blizt.

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