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1 Equitana – Grand Final Horse lovers from all over Australia and around the world headed to Sydney November 10th – 13th to be part of the biggest and most exciting equine spectacular in the southern hemisphere – Equitana Sydney. Equestrian Australia joined forces with Equitana to develop and run a national annual Grand Final for dressage, jumping and express eventing with qualifying events held throughout the year all over Australia. Olympian Heath Ryan took a big gamble on Saturday night when he decided to try out new music for the Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle in the Equestrian Dressage Grand Final – but that gamble paid off when he took out the inaugural title at the Sydney Showgrounds in front of a packed house in the exciting Dome Arena. Ryan, riding the black stallion Regardez Moi, impressed the judging panel finishing on 71.950% ahead of New Zealand’s Louisa Hill and Bates Antonello (70.275%) and Queenslander Chantal Wigan and Ferero (69.475%) third. Ryan moved up a place from Friday’s Grand Prix where he placed second to Hill. Ryan commenting after his super ride, “I was biting my fingers nails when the last girls went round. They were in great form and it was just one of those nights where things went well for me and they had the odd glitch so I snuck in there – but I’ve got to keep going now.” He went on to say, “It was great for him (Regardez Moi) as well– his owner passed away last week and I know she would have been really pleased and would be smiling down on us”. The win comes off the back on an impressive result at the National Dressage Championships where the duo finished third. “I don’t know if the Olympic team was selected tomorrow I’d make it but I think I’d be one of the final combinations they’d talk about. His (Regardez Moi ) form is not getting any worse, he’s on a comeback trail for sure. But those girls are so good and they have the history of being consistent as well. This event was for me about establishing form – but it can’t be a one off, he’s got to do it again and we’ve got to keep on getting better,” said Ryan. The new Dome Arena at the Sydney Showgrounds has provided athletes with the rare opportunity of competing in a European style atmosphere, which Heath believes is critical for the sport. “This is one of the few occasions where we get a great arena and great atmosphere and in Australia we get very little exposure to that. The guys in the Northern Hemisphere however are used to performing in an arena like that - we’re desperate for this sort of exposure and 2 this event has provided us with that,” he said. Jenny Sheppard 1) Rozzie Ryan and GV Bullwinkle – Furdography 2) Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi under the big roof – Paul K Robbins 23


Equestrian_NSW_Yearbook_2011
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