New personal bests and records set at Dressage by the Sea 2020 – Week One
Dressage by the Sea 2020 sees the return of competitive dressage to Willinga Park in Bawley Point, on the NSW South Coast. The first event of the back-to-back competitions ran over three days, from Saturday 22nd February to Monday 24th February and was highlighted by record-breaking scores and new personal bests.
This year, Willinga Park welcomed the expertise of Gotthilf Riexinger as President of Ground Jury for the first event of Dressage by the Sea, along with a Ground Jury consisting of Anne Gribbons (USA), Magnus Ringmark (SWE), Susan Hobson (NZL), Maria Schwennesen (AUS), Mary Seefried (AUS), Ricky Macmillan (AUS), Kerrie Swan-Bates (AUS), Connie Murray (AUS) and Jane Ventura (AUS). Eduard De Wolff Van Westerrode (NED) was also presiding as FEI Foreign Judge.
‘The concept of Dressage by the Sea has always been to bring leading judges from the international dressage industry to Australia, to give our riders the opportunity to benchmark themselves against world standings.’ Says Terry Snow, Executive.
With a high degree of difficulty, Mary Hanna and her Dutch Warmblood mare Calanta, absolutely stole the show. With a first-place score of 76.205, 5-time Olympian set a new Australian-Pacific region record. No horse or rider has ever reached 76.205 on home soil.
Katherine Farrell and Luxor 118 rode first scoring an impressive 69.200, quickly followed by Alicia Targa and CP Dresden posting 72.925. This was a new personal best for Alicia and mounted pressure on the field.
New Zealander Melissa Galloway and New-Zealand bred Windermere J’Obei W are relatively unknown here in Australia, however this looks set to change. Their stunning performance grabbed the crowd’s attention, with the partnership placing another personal best on the board, 75.565.
Fellow New Zealander, John Thompson and his 8-year-old stallion, JHT Chemistry, also placed another personal best, posting 75.025. Both Kiwi riders made it clear that New Zealand has some exciting dressage talent.
But the day was Mary Hanna’s. The final start on the field toppled the New Zealanders from their podium positions – and as if by order of the day – Mary’s victorious score 76.205 was also a new personal best.
This win followed on from Mary’s first place on Sunday in the CDI4* Grand Prix Special with her 13-year old Westfalian mare, Syriana, scoring 70.213. Young Melissa Galloway and Windermere J’Obei W also placed second to Mary in this class, with a score of 69.660.
There were several other standouts during Event 1 of Dressage by the Sea, including Willinga Park’s new recruit, Jayden Brown.
Jayden began riding for Terry Snow in January and dominated the field. Warming up on Saturday in the Intermediate A CDN, scoring 67.706 with Sky Diamond under saddle, Jayden placed second to Jenny Gehrke and Senator Nymphenburg, who won with 68.118.
Sunday saw a morning quinella in the Advanced 5A, placing first onboard Willinga Park Fusion with 71.886 and second on Bloomfield Royalist scoring 71.579. This was followed by another quinella in the Young Horse 6-Year-Old – Round 1. With Quincy B under saddle, the pair scored a remarkable 89.000. Jayden also took second place in the class with Willinga Park Emotion and a score of 81.200.
‘Jayden has shown real determination and commitment, and we’re extremely happy with the results. He’s performed extraordinarily well considering he’s been with us for just six weeks.’ Says Terry Snow.
Jayden’s winning streak continued, taking first in the Intermediate B CDN with Sky Diamond and a score of 70.351, first in the Advanced B with Willinga Park Fusion and 70.676 and first and second place in the Young Horse 6-Year-Old Round 2 with a score of 88.000 with Quincy B and 80.800 with Willinga Park Emotion.
Mary Warren also had an excellent few days with her homebred, home trained horses. Onboard Mindarah Park Ramirus, Mary took home first place in the Prix St Georges CDN scoring 70.853 and first place in the Intermediate Freestyle scoring 72.150. And in the Grand Prix 16-25 CDIU25, Mary took another win, this time with Mindarah Park Ramadan and a score of 70.718.
Another success story from Event 1 was the thrilling partnership of Pauline Carnovale and Captains Cooks. The pair won all three of the CDN classes, with 65.224 in the Intermediate II CDN, 67.674 in the Grand Prix CDN and 71.205 in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDN .
During the three-day break between Event 1 and Event 2 of Dressage by the Sea, Willinga Park is hosting the 2020 FEI Regional Dressage Forum which returns to Australia for the first time since 2005. The Forum culminates in a masterclass by world number two, Dorothee Schneider, on Thursday 27th February.
Willinga Park’s, Terry Snow, says ‘We’ve created a nine-day festival of dressage, where Australian riders not only get to compete in front of international level judges, but also immerse themselves in the industry from every facet. We’re very pleased with how the format is being received.’
The second of Willinga Park’s back-to-back CDI4* events kicks off on Friday 28th February.