Warm weather welcomed day three of EQUITANA Melbourne as crowds flocked to the showgrounds for another jam-packed day of equestrian action. Saturday, or as it has been referred to in recent years as “Dressage Day”, continued the form of EQUITANA’s previous two days by showcasing a program that was bursting at the seams with talent, education and elite competition.
EQUITANA Melbourne Star Presenter Patrik Kittel presented his Dressage Masterclass to the enthralled spectators who packed the Grand Pavilion Indoor Arena. You could hear a pin drop during the three hour session, with Kittel emphasising the important of transitions, rewarding the horse for each effort and letting the horses show expression in their training. His positive and encouraging training techniques and careful insights into what has made him one of the best riders in the world had the crowd hanging on his every word.
The Australian Stock Horse Challenge; which comprised of a number challenges including hacking and time trial tests, put the riders and horses speed and agility to the test. Aaron Todd, Sophie Howard, Jason Fry and their horses Todds Billie, Todds Kassandra and Condimine Liberty Belle respectively took out the team title. While the individual winner was awarded to Aaron Todd riding Todds Billie.
The Australian Brumby Challenge saw Australia’s native horse take on the Obstacle Challenge leg at Think Fencing Arena. VBA Sansa came out on top with a score of 295, VBA Alpine Daisy was close behind in second with a score of 290 and third was VBA Magnus with a score of 281. In the Yearling competition, HVBA Thor posted a winning score of 292, followed by HVBA Jack on 288 and HVBA Chance rounded out the top three with a score of 280.
The ever popular Breed Showcase Finale saw the best in each breed on display. With plenty of primped and preened equine flesh on show, the judging was an exciting affair. The popular voting competition tallying public votes for Best Breed saw Myklejon (Fjord Promotional Group of Australia) take out the People’s Choice award. Braggo S (Australian/ New Zealand Friesian Horse Association) an eight year old Friesian stallion owned by Teraossa Lodge Friesians was the back-to-back winner of the Kelato Horse of the Year award and Sartos Super Model (Sportaloosa International) placed Reserve Champion.
For the first time at EQUITANA the Grand Pavilion Indoor Arena played host to the EQUITANA Extreme Cowboy Challenge. The Non Pro Division was taken out by Naomi Abdilla riding Playgirls Dunit on a score of 235.575, Beth Crowe and Reta claimed second on 224.865 and Lachie Baker took the bronze place on Killara Im Okay on 212.415. Daryl Crowe and Killara Cobber won the Pro Division with a score of 260.355, narrowly beating Steve Crowe on One Stylish Cyril who finished on 259.020. Shane Woodall on All Dolled Up finished third on 231.615.
EQUITANA Melbourne will wrap up Sunday 20th November with the EQUITANA Australian Open Cutting Championships taking place in the Grand Pavilion Indoor Arena followed by the Final of The Way Of The Horse. The evening’s entertainment is one not to be missed with The Rooftop Express featuring David Manchon, Anthony Lucia and special guests. The outdoor arenas will see Mounted Games Australian Championships Final, Off The Track Showing Showcase and the EQUITANA Hunt Chase. The Australian Brumby Challenge will draw to a close with a Freestyle Challenge and Auction sessions book ending a horsemanship Training Feature on Think Fencing Arena.