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Jody's Blog

A big weekend at the office

Author: SuperUser Account/Tuesday, March 22, 2011/Categories: Blog

A big weekend at the office

March is always a busy time for us, with the NZ Dressage Nationals and the Horse of the Year Show. This year I decided to make it even more tricky by attending the Arabian National Championships as well.

For the first time ever the Dressage Nationals were held in Fielding at the big impressive indoor venue Manfield Park. I took Donnerwind down in the Horse Van (www.horsevans.co.nz) and he enjoyed a very comfortable journey!

I managed to arrive late (nothing too unusual there!) and had only a limited amount of time to get Donnerwind used to the indoor venue. He felt terrible that night, stiff and looking at everything - not with me at all... But by the next day he was supple and concentrating and we went in and rode what I think was the best PSG level test I have ever ridden - and there's been a few! I felt like I could just sit and do nothing, and with no mistakes - magic! The Australian FEI judge agreed, giving us the massive score of 68.16% and saying that Donnerwind "is a true international Prix St Georges horse". Unfortunately the local judges didn't see the quality she did, so we finished 3rd in the test - but in my heart I knew it was something special.

The next day it was outdoors - the Intermediare I and again a pretty foot perfect test. First placing from two judges but an unbelievable 10th from another which dropped us down to fourth. Scores ranging from 66% to a low 60% - very disappointing when one judge can take a chance of a national title away from you...

The final day was the freestyle - I pulled out all the stops, doing one handed canter piroettes and a fancy pattern to a Meatloaf Medley I created last season for Marceau. Again the judging was erratic - first placing with one, down to 14th place from another.

Donnerwind ended up placing third overall - I was thrilled for him - he's now 20 and has had such a long spell away from the competition arena.

Another pleasing part of the show was to see youngsters by Landioso and Ramazotti out competing successfully. In the Level one classes, two horses dominated and ended up being Champion and Reserve. Silver Reef by Ramazotti took out the overall honours ridden by my great friend Kieryn Walton. And Don Zanoni by Landioso took out the reserve spot for Sharlene Story. Exciting stuff!

Silver Reef is the lovely grey mare in the canter shot below.

It was a quick turn around on the Saturday afternoon as I headed back north to compete in Cambridge on the Sunday. This time it was a very different affair - the Arabian National Finals. Here I had the pleasure of riding two very high quality horses, Palisade who is a multi National Champion purebred gelding imported from Australia, and PE Grand Illusions who is a superb 4yo Anglo I have had in training.

Despite the ground conditions being unbelievably terrible both horses performed exceptionally well, with Palisade taking out all the major titles and once again being crowned NZ Champion for his owner Mary Whitehouse. And then Grand Illusions (aka Bongo) was a superstar, recovering from some exuberance to take out Reserve National Champion Derivative in just his very first show under saddle - certainly a sign of big things to come for him and his owner Natalie Porter.

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