Wednesday, December 1, 2010
1 December 2010
Twelve of Australia’s best Grand Prix Dressage combinations, plus one rider from New Zealand, have been selected for this year’s Pacific League World Cup Final. The Final will be held during the Saddleworld Dressage Festival (December 9 – 12) at the Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre.
The winner of the Grand Prix Freestyle qualifies for the FEI World Cup Final to be held in Leipzig, Germany in April 2011 and will also create a favourable impression on selectors looking ahead to the 2012 London Olympics.
In alphabetical order the competitors will be:
Nadia Coghlan (NSW) Northern Campion
Gitte Donvig (VIC) Port Said 10
Shiwon Greene (NZL) Gosh
Mary Hanna (VIC) Sancette
Mary Hanna (VIC) Umbro
Blas Lago (NSW) Northern Hector
Heath Ryan (NSW) Regardez Moi
Rozzie Ryan (NSW) Jive Magic
Lesley Anne Taylor (NSW) Welpe’s Countess
Lesley Anne Taylor (NSW) Weltklasse
Maree Tomkinson (VIC) Rodrigo III
Caroline Wagner (VIC) WS Nevada
Chantal Wigan (QLD) Ferero
The riders will need to impress the international judging panel made up of Linda Zang (USA) who judged at the recent World Equestrian Games (WEG), Uwe Spenlen (GER), Jan Bird (NZL), and Australians Mary Seefried (also a judge at the WEG) and Susie Hoevenaars. Riders will compete in the Grand Prix test on Friday, with the Freestyle competition being held on Saturday night indoors. A large and appreciative audience is expected who will also enjoy entertainment from Peter Denahy, who is highly acclaimed for his music and comedy.
Last year, Brett Parbery and Victory Salute thrilled the audience with their winning Freestyle performance setting an Australian record score of 75.3%. This performance preceded their overseas campaign which saw them finish 9th in the FEI World Cup Final and 9th at the World Equestrian Games. Whilst both Australia-based WEG horses – Victory Salute and Jaybee Alabaster – are missing from this year’s Final, it is still shaping up to be a very exciting and close competition, based on results at the recent Australian Dressage Championships.
Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi won the Pacific League World Cup Final in 2008, and would love to win it again this year! Having made a clean sweep of all the Grand Prix classes at the Australian Championships recently they are certainly back in the top form necessary to do so. Amongst those challenging him will be Gitte Donvig and Port Said 10 who placed 2nd to Heath at the Australian Championships in both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle and achieved a personal best Freestyle score of 70.3%, actually equal to Heath’s score, but 2nd on a count-back!
Mary Hanna, 3-time Olympian and a former World Cup Final representative, has two horses qualified for the Final, including the newly imported Sancette who wowed the crowds at Equitana, but she can only ride one in the Freestyle. Heath’s wife Rozzie, also a former World Cup Final representative, was 3rd here last year with Jive Magic and won the Grand Prix at Sydney CDI-W earlier this year so they are capable of a winning performance. Of special interest to spectators will be Chantal Wigan and Ferero. This pair has returned to Australia after training and campaigning in Europe for the past three years. They won the Grand Prix at Equitana and finished 4th in the Grand Prix Freestyle.
The Pacific League World Cup Final is one of the feature events of this year’s Saddleworld Dressage Festival which incorporates the Victorian Dressage Championships, and also the Marcus Oldham Aachen Challenge for riders aged 16 – 25 years. There is also a Grand Prix CDN class which has attracted twelve entries. More than 300 horses from all states of Australia will be competing over the four days of the Festival at all levels of competition, from Preliminary to Grand Prix. There are also pony classes from Preliminary to Medium. Spectators will also enjoy an extensive trade village for Christmas shopping.
General admission tickets will be available daily at the entrance gate at a cost of $10 per car or $25 for a 4 day pass, with Saturday night tickets $25 per person for general viewing.
More event information available from: www.equestrianvictoriaevents.com.au/DF