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score of 69.105. Soon after, Tor Van Den Berge (QLD) on Cheryl O’Brien’s stallion Lauries As entered the arena. The power and impulsion of this horse seems to have increased considerably over the last year. As a result they did a super test which put them in the lead by only .25 of a point. These two combinations maintained that position for quite a while until Matthew Dowsley (NSW), on Flavio (owned by Linda and Beau Dowsett) entered the arena. Matthew has this amazing ability to get the horse focused and on the aids. The precision and expression was impressive. Matthew scored 69.447. The last combination of the class was Queensland rider, Nicole Tough, on the very elegant grey gelding, Dante (also owned by the Dowsett family). This combination is renowned for their solid partnership. Except for a minor glitch which only a trained eye would see, Nicole and Dante made it look easy as they seamlessly moved from movement to movement. This was enough to put them on top of the dais with a score of 70.158. From midday, the indoor arena hosted the main class of the day – the Australian Sports Commission Grand Prix CDI-W. From early on in the class, David Shoobridge (NSW) and his Rubenstein stallion, 00 Seven, took the lead with a score of 66.787. It took Queensland rider Sheridyn Ashwood and her talented stallion, Prestige VDL, to change this. Although there were a couple of mistakes, they still managed to achieve a score of 67.021. The second last horse and rider combination, Maree Tomkinson from Victoria and her electric mare Diamantina IV, rode an incredibly expressive test, which was enough to pip Sheridyn at the post, scoring 67.298. Everyone was interested to see if Jayden Brown and San Andreas (who impressively won the Novice Championships) would win The Riders Shoppe Young Horse Qualifier for 6 year-old-horses. Well, there were no surprises. Jayden and San Andreas won with a score of 8.420. One of the best things about being at such an event for the duration is that you get a feel of which horse and rider combinations are going to be the one to watch. Most spectators catch on to this and a small army of supporters travel from arena to arena watching Australia’s best. On the third day, the Ray White Acreage Medium 4B and 4C had 35 competitors. The first horse and rider combination to impress was Western Australian rider Deon Stokes and the stallion Bellario. Deon has travelled nearly 4,000 kilometres to compete at these championships and by the response from the judges and spectators it was well worth the miles. This combination scored 71.111 in the 4B and then went on to score 71.417 in the 4C. This was not only enough to win both classes but it also made Deon and Kate Barton’s stallion Bellario the Ray White Acreage Medium Champion. Once again it was Deon Stokes riding Kate Barton’s stallion Bellario who won the Gow-Gates Advanced Freestyle, scoring 69.167. Hot on his heels was Queensland rider Victoria Welch on the Australian bred warmblood, Glogau. This combination scored 69.000 and her choreography was beautiful and flowing. These riders have obviously done a great job in training their horses – the horses were attentive, the rider’s position was relaxed and correct as their hands gently kept contact with their horse. Third went to Heath Ryan and the very well conformed, Johnny Depp (owned by Rebecca Notley). 1) Maree Tomkinson and Diamantina IV 2) Matthew Dowsley riding Flavio in the Prix St Georges Challenge 3) Deon Stokes riding Bellario in the Medium 4C 4) Grand Prix Special Presentation Images by Franz Venhaus 1 2 20


Equestrian_NSW_Yearbook_2012
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