EQ Life Masthead - 2019
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Report from the third day at the Sydney CDI

Silbermond winner of the CDI PSG ©Roger Fitzhardinge

©Roger Fitzhardinge

By Roger Fitzhardinge

 

The Wade Equine Coaches Medium Tour freestyle was a very closely fought affair. Susan Elekessy and Don Ruben came out winners on 67.63 percent. This black gelding shows very expressive paces, and Susan and always rides with feel and flair. In second place were Rozzie Ryan and Jarrah R on 67.3. Rozzie rode a wonderful flowing test, showing great preparation and timing in all the movements. As always, her music was endearing. In third place, Gina Montgomery and Stedinger. This combination scored 66.75, and Gina grinned from beginning to end. The understanding and enjoyment that exudes when these two hit the ring is fantastic. A field of nine horses fronted for this new level freestyle and the riders really appreciate the chance.

 

The three finalists of each Young Horse age group, had a few minutes each in the ring to show their paces, and were then ridden by guest rider, Anna Sophie Fiebelkorn. The winner of the four-year-old class was SPH Renaissance, gaining a 9.5 for rideability. Winner of the five-year-old went to the beautiful Don Schufro mare Donna Elena. A little tense in the ring today, but still the judges and the rider enthusiastic in regards to this black mare’s elastic and active strides. The winner of the six-year-old was imported black stallion Solo Feliz. This stallion, by San Amour gave Anna Sophie a super ride. His rider, Daniella Dirks, was elated with the win. It is interesting to see that the same three winners were the winners from Dressage with the Stars.

 

The Intermediate Freestyle, sponsored by Zilco International, saw a wonderful field of 12 horses and what a great field it was. The winner was Silbermond, an imported gelding owned by John Potter from Wagga Wagga.  The gelding at the moment is in the capable hands of Olympian Rachael Downs as John is out of action at the moment. A score of 72.05% saw them edge in front of Lisa Martin and Furst Famous, by Fiedertanz and what a fancy mover, especially in the trot and in such an elegant frame. Rachael rode a good test, with fluent and amazing canter work, but a big loss of marks in the canter pirouettes where Silbermond is still inexperienced and as of yet is not so capable at sitting and taking the weight in the serious collection. A big loss of marks, but with so many marks from the expressive trot, it was a win that was easily understandable. I am sure the John and his wife Sharon will be over the moon with such a fabulous start to this horse’s small tour career.

 

In third place was Adloo Richard for Mathew Dowsley. This Royal Hit gelding is owned by Di and Peter Jenkyn from Queensland and has only been with Mathew for the last three months. It was a super test but at times a little against the bridle and a little tight in the neck, but as he relaxed there were parts that were wonderful. It was interesting to see Mathew praising this horse on several occasions during the test. Adloo Richard is a bit of a wimp and Mathew was full of praise in respect to how this horse has really gained confidence over the last few months in his riding and feeling. It was a good solid performance and a horse with a big future.

 

It was so good to see that Phillip Bobic and Go Dutch III came fourth on 70.35%. It is hard to imagine that this is Phillip’s fourth ever dressage competition at any level. He is a show Hack trainer and rider from Queensland and what a great job he did. It was as if he owned the arena with the atmosphere and packed stands; his imported horse danced his way around the intermediate freestyle with total confidence and ease. In December this horse’s owner Jemma Heran, rode him at the National Hack Championships and won her riding class. He is just beautiful with the most fantastic attitude and tonight he was ridden in a more elastic and supple way and the marks were better than in the other tests. He is a crowd favourite and rightfully so. He is a super character and has obviously had some wonderful training, as he was imported from Denmark.

 

Fifth was David McKinnon on Johnny Depp - and haven't these two made a great partnership - so well deserved and I am sure he will be elated, as will Brett Parbery, with Glen Fryers Longvue Florencio who was a little overwhelmed in the atmosphere but some great parts and good music and then followed by Chocolate Box with Sheridan Ashwood. In eighth was Kate Taylor Wheat with World Star who was impressive but a mistake in the three tempi changes was not helpful when the class was so close.

 

This small tour was given great praise from the international judges and the quality and riding was outstanding. The improvement across the board at this CDI has been dramatic and recognized.  

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