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Australian Dressage Championships
This year the South Australian Dressage Championships were held on 11th and 12th of March at the Strathalbyn Polo Grounds. It also marked a change in how the competition was run in that instead of each dressage club in the Adelaide region taking turns (SADA ran it in both 1998 and 1999) the EFA Dressage Committee organised this year's event. Both competitors, judges and others involved in the event did a great job considering that there were 136 individual horses entered and both days were very humid and hot with early starts and late afternoon finishes.
The Novice Champion trophy was won by Leslie Anne Taylor while the Medium Champion trophy was awarded to L Wright. Ruth Schneeberger was the Advanced Champion trophy recipient. Wendy Schaeffer was probably the busiest yet most unlucky rider with seven placings over the two day carnival missing victory on several occasions by very small percentages with her five horses. Gillian Rolton entered four horses over the two days for one victory but they appear to be up and coming horses as only Endeavour is well known in the top level of competition.
Young Rider 1D
This class featured a talented group of young riders who mix dressage with hacking, breed shows, eventing, etc. The winner was Elizabeth Hunt riding Briary Heysen with a score of 57.80% with Susanna Verco & Esteem second on 55.60%. Third placing was awarded to Melissa Lanham and Talquah Beau scoring 55.00%.
Twenty eight competitors were entered in this class including one standardbred in Cloud Nine ridden by L Davies. In an even competition Andronicus and H Ward with a score of 61.73% just held off Great Expectations and T Burne on 61.35%. Third placing was shared by Queen of Diamonds & N Vears and Copybook & S Paech with a score of 60.38%
This event proved to be the start of a prosperous weekend for Jaybee Applause and L Wright as they came out on top with a score of 66.13 to finish well ahead of the Wendy Schaeffer pair Sun Smart (63.06) and Sun Down (61.94). It was also a large class with 31 entries and six reserves.
The field of competitors included many experienced riders who have new additions to their stables. Gillian Rolton took out this event riding Aspire with a score of 68.60% while Mai Tai and Sylvia McLachlan were second with 66.80%. Vienna Park Dominion and Anne Marie Coleshill were third with 65.00%.
Jaybee Applause and Lindy Wright continued their success with another victory here this time with a score of 68.18%. In a repeat of the placings in the 3C class the pair defeated two Wendy Schaeffer mounts in Sun Smart (66.52%) and Koyuna Sun Glo (65.15%).
Young Rider 3D
In the second of the three young rider classes Fiona Guthrie & Get the Dollars, also known for their eventing during the cooler months, won clearly with a score of 58.03. Second was D Wlochowicz and Birubi Toska with 55.92% and third was Goldrush and Hannah Newland with 55.26%.
Jaahl and Kerry Grivell narrowly won this class with a score of 60.26% from the consistent but luckless Wendy Schaeffer riding Sun Power with a score of 59.34%. Third was Pekoe and Cath Brennan with a score of 59.03%.
Young Rider 2D
Briary Heysen and Elizabeth Hunt continued their unbeaten run in this event with a score of 67.00%. This pair have also previously done well in the top SA hack events. Another competitor who mixes hacking and dressage Michelle Stuart riding Princeton was second on 60.80% while Zenith and K Pelgrim were third with 60.00%.
Pekoe and Cath Brennan improved in this test to finish on top with a score of 59.70% narrowly defeating Sir Hans ridden by F Heysen-Smith with 59.39%. Third was Jaahl and Kerry Grivell with 58.33%.
Yet another big field with four reserves took on the challenge of this test with Leslie Anne Taylor taking out victory with Heatherton Park Cadiz with 68.26%. M Maiden was delighted in taking out second placing aboard Allouetta in 67.83%. Third was Sun Down ridden by Wendy Schaeffer with 66.30%.
Showing that they had lost none of Saturday's ability Jaybee Applause & Lindy Wright collected their third victory in this event with a score of 69.22%. Sir Hans and F Heysen - Smith were again the runners up with 62.97% and the warmblood stallion Dusseldorf & Heather Currie were third with 62.50%.
After the field of 31 competitors completed their tests the judges could not split the performances of Heatherton Park Cadiz ridden by Leslie Anne Taylor and CH Versace ridden by L Wohling who both scored 67.92%. Sun Down continued his consistent form collecting third place again for Wendy Schaeffer only narrowly beaten with 67.71%.
Sir Hans ridden by F Heysen - Smith with 64.17% finally brought the winning streak Jaybee Applause and Lindy Wright (score 64.00%) to an end. Honeybee and Cynthia Quint were third with 61.67%.
Prix St Georges
Ruth Schneeberger's fantastic horse Superstar breezed through this high level test to score 64.50 and victory. Second was Editorial and Kerry Grivell with 59.42% while FF Dances With Mars ridden by Marion Von Saagh was third with 59.00%.
Intermediate I Freestyle
Once again Ruth Schneeberger and Superstar blitzed the field to score 66.68 and first place. Second was FF Dances With Mars and Marion Von Saagh with 60.65% and Hilltop Otis ridden by Chad Smyth (a member of the national young rider squad) was third with 53.42%.
Jen Gilligan's wonderful mare Belcam Aafrica produced the winning performance in this class with a score of 58.13. Dusseldorf and Heather Currie were second with 56.00% with Sir Hans and F Heysen-Smith third with 55.38.
In one of the biggest fields for a Freestyle competition (that is to a musical backing track) K Van Loon's impressive grey warmblood gelding Paladin's Luxemburg produced an outstanding test to win with a score of 70.65%. Second was Graf Khan Grafitti ridden by L Jutilane-Maynard with 68.18% and third was Real McCoy and C Phipps with 65.33%.
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