Victorian Youth Dressage Championships 13 - 15 January 2017

In spite of a wide range of weather conditions the Ellanbrae Park Victorian Youth Dressage Championships proved to be a showcase for both talented established riders and those who are on the way to a bright future.

Tests from Preliminary to Grand Prix attracted almost 200 riders to Boneo Park including a team of New Zealand riders together with entrants from New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and a very strong Victorian contingent.

Twenty championships were decided with many riders opting to ride the FEI tests for ponies, junior & young riders and Under 25 Grand Prix as well as national tests. Participation and Interschool classes were also strongly supported with many of these riders experiencing their first major Championship.

The New Zealand team were wonderful ambassadors, thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were prominent in the placings with Melissa Galloway riding Stella Barton's BWS Cabaret to the Riddells Creek Dressage Preliminary Championship.

The FEI tests were conducted as a Tour (3 tests made up the Championship) and in the Bob Jane T Mart Pony Championship Victorian rider Amy Bachmann's Heritage Park Chartreuse was dominant winning all three tests.

The Honan Insurance Group FEI Junior Championship also saw Jessica Hivon and the pony Garraboo Scoobie Doo winning all three tests.

A strong supporter of equestrian sport, particularly dressage, Marcus Oldham, sponsored the FEI Young Rider Tour which saw a number of polished rides from competitors from Tasmania and New South Wales before Victorian Charlie Welsh riding the imported Dutch mare, W Esther de Jeu took out the Championship.

Experienced Grand Prix competitors Fern Wright and the Welsh Cob Kamber Pryderi won the Baillieu Holst U25 Championship emphatically with a great score of 71.292% in the freestyle leg in front of a panel of international and national judges. Fern was delighted to also win the Kevin Hitchins & Deb Hamid award, a beautiful hand made stock pin in the shape of a riding boot, inlaid with tsavorite garnets as the most successful rider at FEI level. 

The Prydes Medium Tour Championship was taken out by Morgan Duell and Florinzz and the Rosenbjerg Small Tour Championship went to New South Wales rider Amy Reilly and Michar who also won the Rolando perpetual trophy.

Sunday also saw the awarding of several trophies that reflect the history of the event with Tamara Campain and Bon Chance winning the Highborn Baden trophy, Clair Arnold and Mayfield with Lace the Macedon Ranges Dressage Club Encouragement award and Caitlyn Porter and Marena Display winning one of the event's oldest perpetual trophies, the Briana Judge Memorial Trophy.

The Zarina trophy for the Interactive Pty Ltd Advanced Championship was won by Alicia Ryan and Bluefields Furstentanz and the Jarrett Arena Mirrors Elementary Championship went to South Australian rider Samantha Coleshill and Tarrandene Forte. The TGI Fridays Pony Elementary Championship saw Brooke Mance and Fairbanks Ringo happy winners and The Riders Shoppe Medium Championship went to another South Australian rider, Nicole Berry and Euroz Jinks with the Flora Victoria Pony Medium Champion Kielshoop Honey Hill and Alysse Smith on top.

Saturday was a very busy day with classes running from 8am to almost 6pm, three presentations and a gala "Meet the Sponsors" dinner followed by dancing to local band, Cruizin'.

Haylea Wright and Stanmore Park Ruby were Motor One Group Novice Champions and also won the Taylor Farley Memorial trophy and Jemma Dodd from South Australia won both the Australian Sports Pony Registry Pony Preliminary and Novice Championships.

The Toorak College Interschools was very well supported with New South Wales rider Asha Wiltshier and Felix Australis winning the Preliminary Championship and Victorian Isabelle Luxmoore the Novice Championship with Linus WK. Isabelle also came out top in the 2Construct Pty Ltd Participation Novice Championship and the International Racehorse Transport Participation Preliminary Championship was taken out by Skye Kennedy and Horizonte de Jeu.

Ellanbrae Park's Carolyn Welsh and David Shavin said, "we are excited to see so many dedicated and skilful young riders competing with so much support from both family and each other". David also was enthusiastic about the future, "we strongly believe that it is this group of riders that is the future of dressage in Australia and Ellanbrae Park is delighted to be involved with the event and the opportunity it provides for young riders to experience this type of competition."

The Organising Committee received tremendous support from a wide range of volunteers, product sponsors and coaches. Special mention must go to long time dressage supporters, Complete Supply Company, Deborah MacNicol and Longvue. Boneo Park proved to be a very popular venue and the OC is grateful for their support.