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A Masterclass with Simone


Dressage Masterclass - Simone Pearce 3

Simone Pearce and Feodoro

© Michelle Hicks

A talented young rider who has established herself as an international young horse specialist, Simone Pearce sent a wave of excitement through the Australian dressage community when she matched it with the best at the World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses last month.

Simone secured a top ten finish in both the five-year-old and six-year-old finals, and also took first place in the six-year-old qualifying round with the stunning Feodoro. Fresh off the back of her success, Simone is returning to Australia to share her knowledge and experience with the local dressage community.

The team at Dressage Masterclass are excited to present the Peninsula Volkswagen Simone Pearce Young Horse Masterclass on Friday the 20th of October, where she will share her international insights into the preparation and presentation of the young horse for the world stage!


Dressage Masterclass, the team behind Carl Hester’s masterclass at Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre in November 2016, are thrilled to be holding their very first event at Boneo Park Equestrian Centre, in conjunction with the 2017 Australian Dressage Championships (19-22 October). In addition to the Peninsula Volkswagen Simone Pearce Young Horse Masterclass on the Friday, there is also a not-to-be-missed event on Saturday the 21st:

Saddleworld presents the Spencer Wilton Young Horse to Podium Masterclass. Both events are ticketed, with individually allocated, undercover seating for all those who attend.

Simone is looking forward to returning to Australia, and can’t wait to share what she’s learnt with the Australian dressage community.

We caught up with her to find out a little more about her time in Europe, her competition success and the upcoming Peninsula Volkswagen Simone Pearce Young Horse masterclass at Boneo Park…


Dressage Masterclass - Simone Pearce 2

Simone Pearce and Feodoro

© Michelle Hicks


You made the move to Europe to pursue your dressage career seven years ago. What made you decide to base yourself overseas and what impact has this had on your career?

To be honest, it wasn't a conscious decision to move to Europe. I was so young and really just looking to explore the world and gain experience, and in the end I found myself growing and developing in a way I couldn't have imagined.

Who do you credit with having the biggest impact on your career?

There have been many significant influences on my career: but I would say the three most significant people have been:

My mum — Not only did she teach me to ride from day one, she is definitely my biggest mental coach and has supported me through all the highs and lows.

Sabine Ruben — My first job as a rider in Germany was under Sabine. She took me from a shy Australian with no real competition experience to placing in my first Grand Prix; she saw the diamond in the rough and really nurtured me into a professional rider.

Andreas Helgstrand — Over the last two years Andreas has developed my riding in the most positive way imaginable. Under his guidance not only have I had my first score of over 70% in international Grand Prix, but I have also had three fantastic horses in the final at the World Young Horse Championships and gained a lot of experience working with young horses through training, presentation, competition and getting to ride at over 15 international stallion shows in the last two years. I am very grateful to Andreas and excited to see what the future will bring.

Congratulations on your success at the 2017 World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses. How did it feel to achieve such fantastic results while flying the Australian flag?

It was a great honour. I am so proud every time I get the chance to ride under the Aussie flag! It is my dream to be a part of the team that leads Australian dressage to a place at the top of world sport!

You finished fourth in the five-year-old final at the Championships on the big-moving mare Casablanca. Was it hard to see her sold following your success at the event?

?It was very hard to say goodbye to such a wonderful and talented horse that I have such a close bond with. However, sadly it is a part of my job and I have become used to losing my best horses as they reach the top. Sadly success and sales so often go hand in hand. But I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to continue in a long-term partnership with one of these amazing horses!

What do you look for in a young dressage horse?

Good character is of course at the forefront of what I like to have in a young horse. I think in addition to that, something that’s so often overlooked and yet is so important is a good walk!

When you get the time to cook, what’s your signature dish?

I am a terrible cook, haha, but I do make a mean stir-fry.

When it comes to competition time, do you have any superstitions?

Yes. It’s an odd one, but I believe in lucky earrings. If I have success wearing the earrings I continue to wear them, but as soon as I have a bad test I have to throw them out and take new ones to the next show.

What’s your favourite artist and song?

Anything girly and upbeat or RnB.

Away from the stables, what’s your favourite hobby?

Shopping... does that count as a hobby!?

You’ve done quite a bit of travelling thanks to your dressage career — but if you could go anywhere in the world for a holiday, where would you go?

I absolutely love summers in the south of France. Cannes, St Tropez, Nice… for me this is paradise!


Dressage Masterclass - Simone Pearce 1

Simone Pearce and Feodoro

© Michelle Hicks


As part of your Young Horse Masterclass, you’ll be working with young dressage horses to address common training issues. As a young horse specialist, what are some of the biggest/most common training issues you see?

The walk — People do not train the walk; they forget that the walk is a pace that can be trained, developed and improved with time and consistency.

Posture — Correct posture of the pole, shoulder and hindquarters is the absolute key to having the horse move in an expressive, active and correct way.

Reward — For me I believe a lot in discipline matched with reward. I try to always make my horses see the fun in training by making them feel happy and satisfied when they respond correctly. This is the key to a happy developmental partnership.

This is your first trip back to Australia following your success at the 2017 World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses. If you could provide Australian dressage riders with one tip based on your experiences in Europe, what would it be?

Don't compete a young horse before it’s ready: training is for your personal development, but competitions are for success, so if you don't feel ready to produce what will be in your eyes a successful result, then be patient, train more and wait for your moment to shine!
Are you looking forward to working with Dressage Masterclass, the team that had the hugely successful event with Carl Hester at Werribee in 2016?

I am so excited! To have been asked after Carl Hester! What an honour! I had the opportunity to meet Mel Cannon from Dressage Masterclass in Denmark this year. They are the beacon of light for dressage and have some really innovative ideas. They're doing some wonderful things for the sport of dressage and in particular Australian dressage, which I too am passionate about lifting and promoting. I am actually really excited for what the future holds with Dressage Masterclass. Stay tuned!
Lastly, what do you miss most about Australia?

My parents!!!


To buy tickets for the Peninsula Volkswagen Simone Pearce Young Horse Masterclass, or Saddleworld presents the Spencer Wilton Young Horse to Podium Masterclass, please CLICK HERE.




Issue 38


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