Horsezone News

Qld Festival of Dressage - An Outstanding Showcase of the Sport

Published on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Sponsored Shows

OO Seven in the Stallion Parade (photo: Kaitlin Beattie)


Ringside seating - the place to be!


Harold the Horse


The fabulous Horsezone Fashion Parade (photo: Kaitlin Beattie)


Liz Owens giving her ideas for managing training with full time work and parenthood


Animo breeches


The dust may have settled on the Qld Festival of Dressage for 2012, however, smiles are still on the faces of those who attended this fantastic event!

Held on Saturday 21 July - a perfect Qld winter's day - at the magnificent QSEC, the Qld Festival of Dressage truly did showcase all aspects of the sport. Whether you wanted to check out stallions available for breeding, watch top performances, learn more about various levels of training or simply shop until you dropped - it was all there on Saturday.

If you wanted to splurge you could buy a seat at one of the catered ringside tables or if the budget was tighter, you could sit in the stands and spend more time at the seminars or in the trade village. The seats all gave a good view, however, the ringside tables lined the actual indoor arena, meaning those who purchased this seating were almost on top of the action, right beside the dressage arena. The ringside guests also received fabulous catering throughout the day, which consisted of delicious food and superb wine. Something to definitely keep in mind for next year if you're feeling like treating yourself!

The various displays, sessions and seminars were all of a good length and conducted by knowledgeable people. The lessons held in the indoor were informative and practical with topics such as 'Tips for Riding Lazy, Hot or Spooky Horses' and 'Dressage Training to Improve Jumping Technique', 'Creating the Illusion of Sitting Still' with Jacqui van Montfrans of (Forward Coaching), just to name a few, catering to a wide variety of riders. While 'Developing and Enhancing the Paces', 'How and When to Start Flying Changes' and 'Developing the Canter Pirouette' were excellent for those looking to move onto more advanced levels of Dressage. Not to mention the one and a half hour Masterclass with Lientje Schueler, which covered Young Horse, Elementary/Medium and Advanced/FEI.

Over in the Seminar Centre, I particularly enjoyed 'Choosing the Right Horse for You' and 'Managing Training with Full Time Work and Parenthood'. Liz Owens was especially riveting when explaining her methods for balancing all aspects of life and her motto of 'JFDI' ('Just Do It' with another word added in) when it comes to riding, is one we should all live by!

On the entertainment front, there was plenty happening including various Freestyle Displays that were a joy to watch, as was the Grand Prix Pas Finale with Benn Conn and Sheridyn Ashwood. While, Smack the pony, a Connemara x Welsh (who had travelled all the way from Victoria) showed that the little guys can do those fancy Grand Prix moves too!

Comic relief was provided in the form of Harold the Horse, a not particularly well put together but extremely entertaining and unique version of an equine (see photo!), who had the crowd in stitches. Whether he was getting over his horror of Anjanette Harten's terrifying green training ball, showing how flying changes should really be done or performing his unique version of the Grand Prix Kur, Harold was a delight!

The Stallion Parade was a good way to eye off high quality horseflesh and see some top dressage stallions in action. The atmosphere in the indoor, with ringside seating all the way around and large crowds throughout, was a little daunting for some of the younger stallions, however, most of them got over their horror and settled down and worked. It was a wonderful to watch such legends as Lauries As, Prestige VDL and the devine OO Seven strut their stuff - all of these gorgeous boys seemed thrilled that there was such a large crowd to admire them.

Last and certainly not least was the Horsezone Fashion Parade - the place to be at 12 noon on Saturday. All I can say is move over Fashion Week! This parade had all the hype, thumping music and talent of a high fashion show with a difference. Equestrian Australia's Gee Gee and the Horsezone girls kicked off proceedings and then it was over to the models/riders, who sashayed down the catwalk in marvellous equestrian clothing from many different retailers (see Qld Festival of Dressage website for full list of retailers). Whatever your shape or size and whatever your requirements for English riding gear, the Horsezone Fashion Parade featured it. The fact that Qld Dressage Squad members were modelling many of the collections made it even more fun. Nicole Tough especially got into it and we know what she'll be doing if she ever gives up Dressage!

Mentioned above is only a small cross section of all the fabulous displays, seminars and lessons that were held throughout the day, there was so much going on that I didn't get to see everything.

My observations on the Qld Festival of Dressage:

What's hot?

  • Dressage horses of all shapes and sizes in demonstrations and lessons
  • Harold the Horse!
  • Ringside seating
  • Retail therapy
  • Dressage saddles
  • Chapsters - light weight chaps-like garment that you can wear over joddies etc to stay clean
  • snaffles on belts
  • Animo riding wear
  • Mous Boots - exquisite handcrafted riding boots
  • Pony rides - popular with youngsters (am sure they were dreaming those ponies were OO Seven or Prestige VDL)
  • Catching up with long lost friends
  • JFDI!

What's not?

  • That we have to wait until 2013 for the next one!

Congratulations to the organising committee on an oustanding event and thank you for your hospitality!

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by: Jo Johnson/Horsezone




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