Regional Dressage Festival Wrap-Up

The Manning Valley Dressage and Hacking Club (MVDHC) successfully hosted the NSW Regional Dressage Festival at the beautiful Taree Showgrounds this weekend from the 4th-6th August, with ~160 horse and rider combinations from across NSW, and some riders travelling from as far afield as QLD and New Zealand descending on the Manning Valley for the Regional Championship event.

The club ran six arenas over the three days, hosting competitions and Championships across all levels from Preparatory through to Grand Prix and Para-Equestrian events with competitors in all classes and across multiple divisions.

To facilitate the program, the MVDHC added to the existing three permanent arenas by building a temporary sand arena on the grounds and erecting a large marquee, both of which were the focal-points for the weekend, especially during the evening entertainment and freestyle program under lights.

The evening program was opened by Australian Light Horse Association members Rodney O’Regan OAM and bugler Warwick Murray with a commemoration for Australia’s legendary Equine Anzacs. This started the dressage freestyle events with riders from novice to grand prix performing some beautiful freestyles. Inside the packed tent Great Lakes Paddocks served locally produced artisan wines and Bent on Food catered dinner, unfortunately running out of serves as more than 150 people gathered for the evening program.

The Freestyles were followed by international young horse specialist, Melanie Campbell of Campbell Dressage, delivering a young horse masterclass with some exciting local four and five-year-old horses expertly displayed by Katina Smith, Nicola Paff and Rachel Clarke.

The Manning Valley is becoming a hub of high level dressage, producing some very competitive horse and rider combinations with MVDHC members having a very successful competition, including in Official Competitive: Nicola Paff on Pacific Avalon winning official competitive (OC), open preliminary champion, Rachel Clarke on Tarcoola Furst Romanz winning OC open novice champion, Jamie Pike on Catalina Wendel winning OC amateur owner rider (AOR) elementary champion, Katina Smith on MW Shockwave winning OC open medium champion, Rhiannon Isaacs on Fiorucci CG OC AOR medium champion, Kathleen Guest on Pacific Eclipse winning OC AOR advanced champion and Ryan McNeil won para-equestrian champion on Boganvilla Bazil.

Hunter Valley riders Sheridyn Ashwood on Fererro Chocolate Box won the coveted FEI Big Tour Champion and Rozzie Ryan on Jarrah R won the Grand Prix Freestyle.

Nine judges spent time shadow judging and being mentored by higher level judges in order to further develop their judging skills and in some cases gain a higher level of accreditation. The event was live scored by Karen Lever of Snafflebytes to provide riders with quick, online access to their results.

Nine judges spent time shadow judging and being mentored by higher level judges in order to further develop their judging skills and in some cases gain a higher level of accreditation.

Many thanks to Karen Lever of Snafflebytes for the live scoring and Nina Hovarth of Wytchstyck Pictures.

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