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Report from the Brisbane CDI

Sue Hearn (NSW) and Remmington during the Inter II-4303
Sue Hearn and Remmington
© Franz Venhaus

By Roger Fitzhardinge

The second day of the Brisbane CDI was bitterly cold with very strong winds. It was a little daunting with the wind whistling through the stands, bunting flying and dust a plenty. Needless to say some really great scores from many horses.

First out in the Anarge Warmbloods Grand Prix was Brentannus and Victoria Welch and after a rocky entry he really had his act together with a great first piaffe. Green at the level but getting stronger and better established at each start. The canter was light to the ground and airy.  A few green mistakes and clean tempi changes but still a little more sitting for bigger marks. A great second pirouette and for sure a very likeable test. A happy Tori and a great score for this young horse at 65.8%. Next from Bowral in NSW was Remmington and Sue Hearn. This horses continues to impress with elastic sweeping trot half pass and a piaffe and passage tour far more in rhythm as he gains strength and confidence. He now doesn't try quite so hard and it's effortless. Some tension in the collected walk but a great transition to passage and gen piaffe and passage transitions simply seamless with not an aid apparent. The changes were still a little swaying and lacking a sharpness but elastic and airy. It is a pleasure to watch as it excuses ease. A mistake in the one tempi changes was a shame but not totally unexpected as the canter gets a little too airy and a little swinging. The final centre line is absolutely sensational as straight as a gun barrel and cadenced and easy. A great percentage in 69.7 would put a smile on Sue’s face for sure and without the mistake of the one tempi changes it for sure would have broken the 70% barrier and that's a wonderful thing!

Jeremy Janjic was next out on the black Friesian Stallion Django of Cacharel. This stallion always tries his best and today was no exception. The first piaffe started well but a little against the bridle toward the end. Passage is active and fluid. Again in the piaffe some resistance but good steps. He showed a better self carriage in ten canter work but there was a lack of bend and flexion in the canter zig zag for the big marks. The pirouettes again better but a little large. The final centerline easy but the same contact resistance in some steps of the piaffe. A score of 64.28%.

UQG Alladin and Anjanette Harten. By Anamour and Greg, here in Queensland this elegant combination also make the work look easy and that's really what it is about. The piaffe could have been a little more uphill and the passage more enthusiastic but regular and no problems. Al Adonis was so confident and at ease in this sport and arena. He is a sweet horse and Anjanette rode great lines with good preparations and no surprises. She looses no marks and always looks very in control and they are always in a good balance.  A little override in the final extended trot spoiled the mark and an easy final centerline. 65.74%.
Utopian Cardinal entered with heat and with that look of as if to say I have not come all this way to play. It's business.

The first halt not so great the an extension with plenty of expression and ten half passes absolutely seeping across the arena easy and fluent. The first piaffe was rounder and better over the back and well balanced. The extended walk also better and more free. Clear to passage and again a balanced piaffe but a few Urey steps in the passage.  The overall impression looked relaxed and fluid as at times this horse showed some stiffness from tension. A glitch behind in the ones and as always amazingly balanced and effortless pirouettes from the master. Straight on the final centerline and a good test for this pair to gain 66.16%.

Donna Bonita and Tor Van den Berge are next to meet the ground jury of Sue Hobson, Mary Seefried, Ricky MacMillan, Jacques van Daele and Gothilf Riexinger.
Tor rode a safe test on this inexperienced mare and the piaffe a little too forward and the passage a little modest but just clearly nursing the mare through the difficult spots and then really wonderful expressive uphill changes and Tor puts the foot down a little here with more impulsive work. Mistakes in ten changes but the one he did get were expressive and through. Still green at this level but certainly showing some great moments but as yet not confirmed. A 58.04%.

A second ride for Tori Welch and the grey Glogau. Good reaching half pass but perhaps lacked a little forward push. Some great centred piaffe and the passage could show more energy but the passage all the same. A real talent here. This gelding is showing a better way and uphill way of going. The pirouettes could be a little rounder but still well centered. The final extended was regular and uphill and again a very promising centerline for Tori.   A score of 65.24% was a great effort.

The final winner was Remmington and Sue Hearn which was well deserved, and then Utopian Cardinal and Heath Ryan and Brentanus for Tori Welch was third. A great job by Sue Hearn.


The Brisbane CDI being held at the QSEC arena at Caboolture has fantastic facilities with good warm arenas and a modern and friendly indoor arena, super stabling and plenty of viewing. Unfortunately with freezing cold conditions and strong winds it was hard to see a big crowd out to watch the classes.

A 7.30 start in the Tack Shed 5.2 was not only early but seriously cold and no question that Sightseeker for Christine Dale all the way down from Townesville was not playing the game as he was sure he had been sent to Siberia or worse and after a good start decided he was so cold in the walk section he was frozen to the spot and had a melt down or was that a freeze up and that was that.

It was Emma Flavelle and Cabaret C who won the class with a 67.24% and an expressive and well balanced test to lead from Jaybee Ryana and Nicole Magoffinon 66.88%. Kaitlin Dooney was third with Remi First Fleet and Tor Van Der Berge and Cougar fourth. It was good to see that of the eighteen starters fourteen here scored over 60%.
The class was held indoors and the surface being sand was very well received by the riders and seemed to ride really well.

A consistent field of fourteen horses started in the QRSC Inter I and a good win to the imported Borsato for Nicole Tough with a score of 67.76%. This grey gelding has plenty of energy and expression but perhaps sometimes gets a little disconnected in some of the canter tour but only for moments, but at this level of competition it's the little things that make a difference. This combination certainly look the part now at this level and Nicole rides a well prepared and accurate test and now this confidence is staring to be coupled with a greater degree of activity and expression.

Lisa Martin and the quality mare just did not have their minds together and the changes looking not equal and right with a slightly swinging hind end and the ones to the right sometimes short. The trot tour oozes quality and ease and for sure some big marks. A very big and costly mistake came before the second pirouette where the mare was not so forward in the change to the new direction and then the impulsion necessary to be reestablished before the pirouette was not, and a grinding to the walk during the pirouette and a really ugly moment where the mare objected. Lisa decided to go and have another go and international Gothillf Riexinger was very sharp to immediately ring the bell firmly and chastise Lisa for this action as he explained later that this is not the place to train and the first attempt to get a mark then an error and no attention to the second attempt.  He was quite adamant that this was not ethical and frowned upon to repeat an exercise. This is a quality horse and sometimes the lack of forward reaction produces a weaker and backward thinking pace. She is getting stronger and better balanced now and there is no doubt that this is a serious horse for the future. 67.55% put the in to second and that error was costly indeed. Third was Phil Bobic and Go Dutch III the Danish import and Phil only having ridden a handful of dressage tests in his life and all at FEI !!!!! A great job and Phil rode with great preparations for the movements and this little bay pocket rocket skipped his way around the test with confidence and balance that has a look at me appeal. 67.474% and only less than 0.3% separating the first three. Aristede, A Spider Bite and Flash Dance were all in the 66% range and in that order of placing shows the standard and closeness of the competition at this level. It is exciting for the future and looking ahead for the sport and classy riding and classy horses.

In the CSG FEI Young Riders Team test it was Brimstone Anikawa for Eloise Devlin who won the ten horse field from Moscow and Libby Hulin from NSW, 67.45% and 65.6% respectively. Third to Florett and Annie Simons and a great imported mare with a heart of gold. Mary Warren from NSW took out fourth and fifth with Mindarah Park Ramadan and Mindarah Park Rahael.  A good class and close young rider competition.

The final class of the day was the Saddleworld inter B and the first three place getters all in the 64% range. It was GB Winchester for Gary Lung who snuck in from the well trained Fairbanks Jazztime and Jenny then Furst Tyme for Nicole Tough. For sure it was Winchester’s strongest suit in the piaffe that got them over the line as there were many other little mistakes in the test with a distinct lack of continuity and straightness in many movements and again not really on the aids and not so confident in the flying changes especially the two tempis where problems appeared. The mistakes come from tension and then a tentative look of not being truly through and on the aids spoilt a lot of movements. It was certainly a marked improvement form the test yesterday where Gary was disappointed with a mid fifties score. Still plenty of room for bigger marks when they get it all together. Fourth was Karingal Anastasia and Sharna Glover and again some super parts but not as yet maintained and solid, especially in the piaffe and passage. This medium tour level is new and interesting and a good lead in to the Grand Prix from the inter I. It was a group of horses that all had highs and lows and that's what the level will have for a while. Some horses made some good parts to the test but not really confident enough and not consistent enough as yet. Perhaps Jenny Gerkhe and Jazztime made the work look well put together but they lack a degree of expression but the foundation for the better work is definitely there. With Furst Time the same applies, but the piaffe was weak and poor marks here but some great trot work. It's all about being consistent, and then the expression and these horses are all coming well along the road to Grand Prix but are not solid and too many little mistakes for the higher scores.

A great day’s competition and interesting watching. Close scores and all riders needing to ride clean lines and movements to get the marks to put them in the lead and that lead in all tests was hotly contended.

Click here to view the results from day two.


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