Home' The Horse Magazine : November 2016 Contents 70 DRESSAGE
lot more. When EI came in I switched to dressage because
the shows were all cancelled but the dressage competitions
weren’t. We didn’t know what we were doing so it was a bit
of the blind leading the blind but we got there in the end.”
“Our first Grand Prix was back in 2013 and happened
quite by accident actually at the Victorian Dressage Festival.
I entered the Inter 1, Inter 2 and Inter 1 freestyle but the
qualifier for the Inter 1 freestyle was Prix St Georges and I
didn’t want to do Prix St Georges because he doesn’t like the
4 and 3 times changes so I thought I’d give the Grand Prix a
try and we came 4th.”
“We nearly lost him a month later and he had to have 12
months off. He was on a diet and he broke out of his stable
and into the feed room and ate a lot of grains so he got colic
and intoxication laminitis and they didn’t think he had any
chance of surviving but we weren’t going to put him down
without a try. Nineteen months later he was back at the
Dressage Festival at Grand Prix and we were runner up in
the CDN via count back so we were very excited.”
“He’s very cheeky but he tries very hard. He never used
to be so cheeky. He was the most docile, obedient creature
you’ve ever met but now he’s a bit arrogant!”
Are horses your profession now?
“Yes... breaking in, training, coaching. I’m based in the
Yarra Valley and train with Carol Ross but enjoy going to
clinics all over the place with all sorts of people.”
“I started riding at school when I was five. They had it as
an option, riding little shetlands. My family isn’t horsey, but
my grandmother used to ride horses when she was young.”
“My brother started riding at school as well and he hasn’t
done so much of it but he likes the technical side of things like
making freestyles and event organising. He’s the sponsor of
my freestyles with his company Musikür. I have a brand new
one this weekend.”
Fern is sponsored by Musikür and The Saddlery Shop,
Western Australian rider Deon Stokes is just a ‘crazy
person’... in the best possible way. I want to bottle his
energy. With Adelaide 4* just around the corner, he had to
race back home to the Southern Highlands mid comp to
ride his eventers. And with five horses at the Nationals, he
managed to win the Jilli Cobcroft Prix St George, Canberra
Performance Horses Inter 1 and the Equestrian Australia
Prix St Georges “Stars of the Future” on Don Dancier while
taking out the Joint Performance Inter 2 on Royal Oak II who
also came fourth in the Mulawa Performance Grand Prix
CDI-W and the Willinga Park Grand Prix CDI-W Freestyle.
Deon is one of those special breeds, a hard worker who just
puts his head down and gets on with the job.
How do you organise it all?
“We all just work really hard and get it all done. I rode the
horses here in the morning, went home to ride the eventers
and came back to ride my freestyle in the evening.”
Where do you get your energy from?
“I eat and drink a lot! A lot of fluids and electrolytes.”
Please don’t burn yourself out!
“Well we’ve been doing it for quite a while now. We love it.
We’ve always worked this hard. We just keep on keeping on.
Sara has a real job as well (partner Sara Price, when not with
the horses, is a lawyer).”
Who’s helping you with the dressage horses?
“Glennis (Barrey) and Lone (Joergensen). I used Lone’s
eyes here last night.”
A bit about the horses?
“Donny has his stallion moment for about five minutes
every time you get on and then once he’s over that he’s super
rideable, pretty amazing. He will start breeding now for a while
and we’ll consolidate the higher level work before bringing
him out again. I have another small tour horse at home.”
“With Royal Oak at the moment it’s mainly about balancing
the tension levels in the test so that I get the energy without
the tension. Sometimes I get that balance a little bit wrong
but that’s just experience on his part and my part really.”
Not to be outdone by the ‘youngsters’, dynamic duo
Matthew Dowsley and Rodney Martin, also based in the
Southern Highlands, were still giving them all a run for their
money. Matthew won the Mona Farm, Braidwood Grand Prix
CDN and Grand Prix Special CDN aboard Di Jenkyn’s Adloo
Richard, while just getting pipped for second in the Inter
2. AEA Prestige, owned by Denise Ceddia was Advanced
Champion and second in the Prix St Georges.
“Adloo Richard was lovely, he was a very good boy. I was
thrilled to bits with him. He did everything I wanted in the
Special, I just got a few more changes than I wanted. He gets
more confident every time he comes out.
“I’ve had Elvis (Prestige) about eight months now but I’ve
known him since he was about four years old. He’s 11 now.
Denise rode him beautifully but he can be a little bit naughty
so he came to me. She’s thrilled that I like him so much. Elvis
will do small tour for a while.
“The little black one (Don Desandro) was very good in the
Inter 1, but when he goes into the indoor he gets a bit scared,
he’s just really timid. We’ll keep going and he’ll start some
Grand Prix soon. He keeps me honest!
Fern Wright and Kamber Pryderi
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