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Sue Hearn and Remmington win EQUITANA FEI CDI-W Grand Prix

Sue Hearn and Remmington - © Roger Fitzhardinge

Sue Hearn and Remmington.

© Roger Fitzhardinge


By Roger Fitzhardinge

The FEI Grand Prix CDI-W was sponsored at Equitana by Mulawa Performance Horses and Longvue, both great supporters of dressage around Australia.

PPH Zeppelin and David McKinnon were the first in. This very tall chestnut made a few green mistakes as the atmosphere in the Grand Arena was quite electric; the spectators moving around and getting settled spooked Zeppelin a little, all the same a very elegant combination that scored 61.957%.

Fiona Selby and Tacita shows some great highlights in the piaffe and passage tour, and it was so good to see Fiona out and competing as apposed to running shows as she does so well at Boneo Park on the Mornington Peninsula. Expressive and straight two tempis, but a mistake in the one tempis. This mare has a great talent for the passage and a score of 64.565%.



Mindarah Park Raphael and the talented young rider Mary Warren showed good self carriage but costly mistakes in the trot half passes with breaks in the rhythm. The atmosphere was also affecting the fluency, and the tension also creating a few mistakes in the rhythm in the piaffe and the passage. Some great parts, but mistakes were costly in the totality of the marks. The test gained confidence more as it went on, and good pirouettes helped pull a few more marks. A score of 58.652% showed that when you get lower marks in a few movements it makes it very hard to catch up.

CP Dresden and Alycia Targa, now growing in experience, coped really well in the arena despite many people walking up and down the steps! A truly professionally ridden test with a high degree of collection and sitting in the pirouettes. This was a very flowing and confident ride, but for one close together behind changes in the one tempis, it was pretty well mistake-free for a score of 64.500% with one judge down on 60.109%.


Holly Cutler and Diva Royale - © Roger Fitzhardinge

Holly Cutler and Diva Royale.

© Roger Fitzhardinge

AEA Metallic for Dirk Dijkstra were next. The stallion looked a little open in the frame and not showing the collection of some. Some very active steps in the piaffe and passage. Clean one tempis. Again, the frame open in the pirouettes. Expressive extended trots with very active hind legs. Overall, a very fluent test and a deserved 66.761%.

Diva Royale and Holly Cutler produced some great trot work, with the mare more impulsive and forward than she has been and enjoying the atmosphere. Some tension though in the extended walking, and then the collected walk needing more activity. The piaffe and passage clear but more energy and lift would see better marks here. A counting mistake in the zig-zag was costly but an overall pleasing test for Holly, scoring 65.261%.

Brumali and Robert Schmerglatt were the last before the break. This is a very beautiful brown gelding by Breathing, and imported and been in Australia only a few months. He could show a little more activity and expression and was a little lazy in some of the piaffe and the passage. The extended paces lacked a little of the get up and go for the bigger marks, and so the clarity of the transitions a little blurred. A few interruptions in the tempi changes didn't help the scores and a few 4’s in the test for minor mistakes saw the score not fulfill the promise that this horse could show for a score of 63.696%. A good score considering some expensive mistakes, and this horse is elegant and with great strength and carrying he will be interesting to follow. A new combination is great for the sport. 

The pony Kamber Pryderi for Fern Wright was not really forward enough to show the transitions and the power needed to get the bigger marks, but all the same some good changes. At times the work looked a bit laboured, and so the honesty in the tempos of the gaits lacked purpose.

Amicelli Gold and Lesley Anne Taylor were next in, and this combination always seems to shine in this arena and for a horse that can be quiet excitable they cruised through the trot work with effortless ease. The piaffe and passage were easy and expressive and well controlled; the tempi changes good, but could be a little more ground covering. The canter in some of the corners becoming very slow and the pirouettes mirrored this… a little bit safe, but was good. A really consistent test and real highlights in the piaffe and passage and no errors. They scored 68.695%.


Lesley Anne Taylor and Amicelli Gold - © Roger Fitzhardinge

Lesley Anne Taylor and Amicelli Gold.

© Roger Fitzhardinge

Sancette and Gitte Donvig; such a beautiful type and he too was enjoying the arena atmosphere. The trot tour was clean, but a few unsteady steps in the balance took away a few marks. The canter could show a little more collection, but was uphill and expressive. Again, the impulsion and activity was fading in the corners and the zig zag, with a few one tempis a little close behind. Such a wonderful competitor, and Gitte looking as always elegant and composed. There were some great parts to this test, but the lack of energy in some of the canter tour would have lost a few marks. A score of 66.087%.

Katherine Farrell and the beautiful Luxor 118. Expressive trot but the half pass lacking a little balance to the left. Energetic passage and the piaffe looking a little lazy and not as fluent as it can be, and again the piaffe not as fluent in the steps in the second one. The canter was uphill and engaged and fluent. Super zig zag; well ridden indeed. Energetic pirouettes, but perhaps a little large. Katherine has a real harmonious relationship with Luxor and it was a wonderful performance for this pair. A score of 67.326% with one judge seeing a 63.913%.

Sue Hearn and Remmington certainly showed their international experience; the work was fluent and effortless in the trot, and a real highlight was the piaffe. Mistakes in the dreaded two tempi changes were costly. A well positioned zig zag and a sigh after a clean set of ones. The pirouettes were a little tight in the frame. The pair scored 69.543%.

Last to go was Rozzie Ryan and Jarrah R. The first extended trot was a little tense, but then lovely half passes that were fluent and well balanced. The passage and piaffe showing all the requirements for good marks, with balance and ease — and good regularity and frame. Rozzie is an absolute professional and rides with grace, showing off this liver chestnut gelding in the very best way. A zig zag so fluent and effortless in the balance and bending. Rozzie certainly making the most of every movement and not giving a mark away…. the final extend trot was the best of all and a great energetic centre line. Such a wonderful demonstration of Grand Prix riding and harmony for a score of 68.304%.

So Sue Hearn and Remmington in first, Lesley Anne Taylor and Amicelli Gold in second, and Rozzie Ryan with Jarrah R in third.

It was a very good class to watch and the top group showed some interesting and fabulously experienced riders, gaining the most of every movement they rode. Well done Equitana and well done to the sponsors and all associated with producing these horses!







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