The Shoalhaven Dressage Club held its annual club championships on the weekend of the 28th and 29th of September. The Saturday was for club members only whilst Sunday was an open competition. Saturday’s club members championships certainly rewarded only the bravest riders, with gale force winds doing their best to not only turn our well watered sand arena into a dust bowl, but also to tear down arena surrounds even as riders were trying to compete. Eventually most of the arenas had to be placed flat on the ground, and the beautifully set up marquee was quickly dismantled before it did an impersonation of a kite.
However just to show how tough dressage riders can be, the show continued and despite the windy conditions some great tests were ridden. One impressive rider was Angus Fripp riding Reveller in his first Medium level test. He not only came away with the Medium Champion, but also won the “Presidents Encouragement Award”, a beautiful painting donated by the painter Catherin McMillan.
Junior Champion was Daniella Rehab and Reserve Junior Champion was Sarah Williams. Champion Junior under 13 years was Daniella Rehab and Gabriella Ross was the Champion Junior 13 years and over.
Prep Champion was Jean Egan and Stoneage Armstrong , reserve Lisa Joyce and Whinona.
Prelim Champion was Kaleena Matthews and Bellingara Fletcher, Carolyn Heron and LV X Factor were reserve.
Novice Champion was Cathy Chittenden and Neversfelde Springbok, Jayne Unterweger and Greenwood Wilona were reserve.
Elementary Champion was Jeff Adams and Weejazzper, Tibby Barbour and Dancing Angelina Ballerina were reserve.
Angus Fripp won Medium Champion on Reveller, Tempe Lees won Advanced Champion on Lets Jazzaround and Ros Quist won Small Tour Champion on Valhalla Flemmingh.
Sunday’s weather was much kinder for the open competition. I arrived early to help reassemble the arenas, however the Moruya fairies had worked their magic early in the morning and every arena was up and ready for the day’s competition. Once again some very impressive tests were ridden. Newly crowned State Novice Champion, local rider Alycia Targa and CP Dresden stepped up to Elementary and took out the championship in fine style. Kim McDonald was in amazing form to win both the Medium Champion on Warburton Regatta and the Advanced Champion on Reveller. Robyn Targa finally had her reliable campaigner Northern Rinaldo back in work to take out Small Tour Champion. Ann Berhinger rode the beautiful Rosehill Rhythm to win Novice champion and local rider Jim Collin took out Preliminary Champion on Dadirri Songline. In the pony competition, Carolyn Heron had a super day riding both the champion Puff N Stuff and reserve X Factor. A new event for the Shoalhaven club was for Para Equestrians, this was won by Victoria Davies on her lovely stallion Andaluka Elegido.
The Supreme Club Champion award for the highest 2 percentages of the weekend went to Sue Rayner and LP Vincent Van Gogh.
Club President Gayle Loose certainly succeeded once again in producing a wonderful, friendly event that really showcased the high level of dressage in the Shoalhaven.