Dres­sage comes of age

NZ Horse & Pony - - Transitions -

Dres­sage New Zealand is at the start of a new era, with the an­nounce­ment of its first HP squad. On the squad are Penny Castle and Mag­nus Spero, Julie Brougham and Vom Fe­in­sten, Vanessa Way and KH Arawn, and John Thompson and Bates An­tonello – who was bred and pro­duced by Louisa Hill, and com­peted with her at the 2012 Olympics.

Dres­sage se­lec­tor and HP ad­viser He­len Hughes-keen says that it marks a com­ing of age in the sport.

“It’s fan­tas­tic – these are the best per­form­ers we have ever had.”

It was only in March that a New Zealand dres­sage com­bi­na­tion cracked the all-elu­sive 70% mark for a Grand Prix test, with Penny and Mag­nus Spero’s ef­forts at the Horse of the Year Show.

At the same show, Julie and Vom Fe­in­sten notched up an Aus­tralasian record in the GP freestyle with 76.025%, and a New Zealand record in the GP Spe­cial, 69.941%.

“I think gen­er­ally, our whole per­for­mance has im­proved,” says He­len. “We have al­ways had good horses, but now our rid­ing and train­ing has gone to a new level… we have upped our game.”

Mag­nus Spero and Vom Fe­in­sten are im­ported horses, while Arawn and An­tonello are New Zealand-bred, both by Anamour.

Also named was an ac­cel­er­a­tor squad, com­pris­ing Penny and BL About Time, Wendi Wil­liamson and De­javu MH, Tracy Smith and Don Diego, and Cather­ine West and Anarocz.

Mean­while, Eng­land-based Shi­won Green is de­lighted to have been se­lected as the first New Zealand rider to com­pete at the pres­ti­gious World Breed­ing Champs for Young Dres­sage Horses, to be held from Au­gust 4-9 in Ger­many.

She will ride her Olden­burg geld­ing F1 (Floriscount/ Road­ster); the pair had a great start to their com­pet­i­tive ca­reer last sea­son in­clud­ing a score of 88% to qual­ify for the ‘po­ten­tial in­ter­na­tional’ class at the Bri­tish Dres­sage Na­tional Champs.

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