2014 saw an entirely new look for the PSI Australian Young Horse and Pony Championships. The organisers did a superb job on creating a much more spectator friendly environment, tinged with a European flavour. Along with a well set out trade village, Arena 1 was adorned with a huge hospitality tent where spectators could sit very comfortably watching dressage from one side and showjumping on the other with great food and coffee easily on hand.
The 4 yo class for Young Horses and Ponies was changed this year from the Material class, where a conformation score was given as well as paces etc. to the same format as the 5 and 6 yo’s. Horses and ponies competed in groups of 2-3 with a commanded test for the first round to determine the Top 10 to advance to the second round with first round scores discarded. In order to qualify for the Top 10, a minimum score of 6.5 was required. photography & report by Margie Kuiper Full scoring [click here]
Ten ponies entered the 4 yo class with nine presenting to judges Susie Hoevenaars and Mary Seefried of Australia and Swedish judge Annette Lacobaeus. Qualifying with 7.72 was Chris Milvain’s Mithril Valetta, a grey Welsh B mare ridden by Louise Maquire. Valetta is by Owendale Brandyman, a prolific producer of top performance ponies and out of a Fairway Skyline mare. Skyline of course is renowned for also breeding quality performance ponies and was a super jumping stallion.
Sharon Potter’s Riding Pony gelding, Beauparc Swayze qualified second with 74.2 and is by Manorvale Country Royal out of Beauparc Showtime (x Stavely Mastermind). Third qualifier on 7.36 was the palomino stallion, Krystelle Park Jedidiah, ridden by Susan Stewart. Jedidiah is a combination of warmblood, stockhorse and riding pony bloodlines being by JC Solomon (x Espri) and out of the Ekolee Tallarri (x Leica Chas Wahid). Also qualifying to move on to the second round was Beauparc Attitude ridden by Laura Pankhurst, Barringa Alexander, ridden by Sarah French, Nawarrah Park Time Traveller, owned by Michelle Styles and ridden by Nina Boyd and Alpine Park Rumba ridden by Justine Greer.
Ten ponies started in the first round of the 5 yo Young Pony class with the highest placed qualifier being the imported German Riding Pony stallion and standout pony for the competition Noble Dancer. Owned and ridden by Amanda Shoobridge, Noble Dancer scored a whopping 8.66 from the judges. By Heidbergs Nancho Nova and out of Immenmoore Crisby, Noble Dancer’s bloodlines go back to Welsh, New Forest and Arabian bloodlines. Qualifying second with 7.28 in the first round for the 5 yo Young Ponies was the grey Welsh B gelding, Mithril Vagabond ridden by Louise Maquire. Third qualifier was the buckskin warmblood cross pony gelding, Mr Buckmeister. Owned and ridden by Kristen Lingard, he is by the warmblood stallion, AJ Maximus. Unfortunately his dam line is unknown.
Also qualifying was the imported GRP stallion AEA Hilkens Crown Prince ridden by Alisha Griffiths, Roseglen Toytown ridden by Allison O’Neill, owned by Alexandra Hanson and Ascot Party Song owned by Angela Carter and ridden by Margot McDougal.
Two ponies presented for the 6 yo class with the palomino Welsh D gelding, Niscinda Welsh Torque owned and ridden by Lucy Moate qualifying for the second round with a very creditable score of 7.24. Welsh Torque is by Annan Welshman and out of Acheron Lilli’s Last. The New Forest mare, Habafield Anastasia ridden by Sara McDonald and owned by Ruth Feltoe did not quite reach the second round qualifying score.
The first round for all of the Young Ponies was ridden in Indoor 1 with both riders and ponies handling the atmosphere with ease.
Friday morning saw the second round ridden individually in the outdoor sand arena. With the large number of spectators, marquees everywhere plus showjumping nearby, the temperament and training of the ponies was put to the test and happily, they all took it in their stride.
All scores from the first round are discarded and the ponies again presented to judges Susie Hoevenaars and Mary Seefried with Alison King from Hong Kong.
Winning the second round with 7.58 and earning his spot in the Champion of Champions ride off later in the evening was the Welsh D gelding Barringa Alexander owned and ridden by Sarah French. Bred by Jenny Van Eyden, the bay gelding is by Cwmkaren Tywysog Du and out of Llangollen Kareena (x Yoorami Justin Hobart).
Second place went to the grey Welsh B mare Mithril Valetta on 72.6 with third place awarded to the Riding Pony mare, Alpine Park Rumba on 7.00 and owned and ridden by Justine Greer.
The second round for the 5 year olds was won by Noble Dancer and Amanda Shoobridge with 7.96 which also gave him the opportunity to compete for the Champion of Champions. Second place was awarded to Mithril Vagabond with 7.14 In third place with 6.98 was AEA Hilkens Crown Prince. Riding for their place in the Champion of Champions was Niscinda Welsh Torque and Lucy Moate. Despite losing her way a couple of times, the young 13 yo Lucy showed great maturity to complete the test on a score of 6.80.
Watched by a large crowd, the three winners came into the Indoor arena on Friday evening to be ridden by the guest rider, Helen Langehanenberg. This was an absolute thrill for the riders and owners to have the world famous rider of Damon Hill and current FEI World Cup Champion ride their ponies.
Helen had no difficulty with any of the ponies and had super rides on all three, making the whole process look totally effortless. Following discussion with the judges, the 5 yo pony, Noble Dancer was announced the Champion of Champions for 2014 winning the Jill Cobcroft Trophy, prize and special rug. Jill is the patron of the Australian Sports Pony Registry and is a very keen supporter of Pony Dressage in Victoria and New South Wales.
The Glenn Fryer CDI-W Grand Prix was held on the outdoor arena with Maree Tomkinson riding the superb Diamantina IV to victory on a score of 68.76%. Following very closely in second place on 68.66% was Caroline Wagner on Tango V. In third place was Chantal Wigan riding Ferero with Pauline Carnovale riding Urestan in fourth.
The International Equine Connections Prix St Georges Cup was won by SS Sonata Hit ridden by Rodney Martin and owned by Andrea Beatty. Second place went to Judy Dierks Diamond Star with third to Mayfield Be Brave and Victoria Stuckey and fourth to Susan Elekessy’s Don Rubin. Bellaire Cannavaro placed fifth ridden by Georgina Foot.