Charlotte Pederson Clinic

On October 19th Danson Wolkenaction and I were lucky enough to ride in a clinic run by the Whittlesea Plenty Valley Dressage Club with Charlotte Pederson at Mayfield Farm. It was a great success from all accounts!

The sun was shining and a weather forecast of 27 degrees was very promising as we headed off to Mayfield in the mid-morning for a midday lesson. Arriving at Mayfield we were greeted by the sight of the most gorgeous foal in the paddock near the indoor arena – just adorable! We couldn’t help but get distracted watching it play with its mother.  We parked, took Action of the float and started get organised for my lesson before realising that disaster had struck – I had forgotten my saddle! The saddle is one of those things you only forget once in your riding career and unfortunately this was my day. After a panicked phone call to Jenny and Michaela Bray who were booked in for the lesson after me, my saddle was on its way. Dr. Kerry Mack, the owner of Mayfield Farm, was extremely generous in lending me her saddle to ride in until mine arrived early on in my lesson. Thank you again!

After this hiccup was resolved we were back on track getting ready for our lesson. Leading Action into the gorgeous indoor arena and stable complex we were greeted by friendly faces all round from riders and spectators in the clinic and members of the Mayfield Farm team. I took Action into the arena and began to warm him up down one end of the arena while the lesson before me concluded. It was a very different facility to anything Action had ever seen before as surrounding the arena there are a kitchen and sitting area, mirrors, paddocks,  stables and a washbay. Action was very well behaved and took all of this in his stride, settling in very quickly and soon relaxing into the rhythm of this new venue.

Our lesson with Charlotte was fantastic and she was able to provide a great overview of our training level and where we need to go from here. Her feedback was so helpful and her attitude so positive that I walked away with a real buzz and sense of satisfaction. What more can you ask for?!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to attend the clinic and thank the Whittlesea Plenty Valley Dressage Club for running it as well as Mayfield Farm for hosting and Charlotte for coaching. I am looking forward to the next clinic to be held soon.

Happy riding!

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Danson Wolkenaction Hits the Competition Arena!

On the weekend of the 6th and 7th of October, Danson Wolkenaction and I hit the competition arena with a splash for our debut – literally! The rain clouds were rolling in as we bundled Action into the float and all of the competition necessities (chocolate, fruit juice, some Luke Bryan CDs and a back seat full of rain coats) into the car and headed off to Werribee Park for our first competitions, the Dressage Victoria Fundraiser on the 6th and the Westernport Dressage Club Premier Cup on the 7th.

The Fundraiser was extremely well run with all rings on time and a big area to warm up but sadly there was nothing the organising committee or my protests could do about the rain and so Action and I waded our way through less than desireable conditions to finish on a very high note – 62.8%, tenth place and smiles alround going into the second day of competition.

Luckily the sun came out for the Premier Cup on the Sunday and everyone was looking forward to a great day. After a big walk, half a bag of carrots, lots of cuddles and some last minute plaiting and sock-cleaning, Action was ready to hit the competition arena again and didn’t disappoint. He was very well behaved and showed that he has more in the tank, increasing the scores to finish with 65.1% and just outside of the placings in another huge class.

I am very proud of Danson Wolkenaction and how well he behaved and took in the various challenges of heightened competition atmosphere, killer windscreen wipers and a gangnam style flash mob at the float pre-mounting. All in all it was a very positive experience and he’s ticking all the right boxes. Action was excited to get home to his stable and dinner after a big weekend and is no doubt enjoying his day off, recharging and getting ready to continue training and working towards our next start in the very near future.

Pictured below in the warm up for the Fundraiser, Action is wearing his new Horse In The Box Saddle blanket and I am in their Kyron breeches. Thank you again to Horse In The Box for your generous support.

 

Interschool National Championships 2012

I would like to say a huge congratulations to all the Victorian riders who made the long trip up to Toowoomba recently for the National Interschool Championships. They should all be very proud of their efforts with a number of personal bests, wins and placings in all disciplines. The team not only consisted of a number of dressage riders but also competitors in Show Jumping, Eventing, the Interschool Challenge and Combined Training competitions. I was very pleased to hear from friends, including representatives from Queensland and Western Australia, that all our riders conducted themselves well and were great ambassadors for equestrian in Victoria both in and outside of the competition arena.
A special congratulations is extended to Olivia Karabatsos and Hannah Cashmore for being awarded ‘Supreme Riders’ trophies. What fantastic work girls! You can read Olivia’s report of the event on Equestrian Life here http://www.equestrianlife.com.au/articles/Interscool-Championships-2012
Close friend of mine Molly Parkin made the long trip up to Toowoomba to compete in the Pre Novice Eventing on her warmblood gelding Kendalee Eskimo. Molly rode a great dressage test and picked up just a few time and jumping penalties over the cross country and show jumping phases to finish in tenth position, a fantastic effort and a performance she is no doubt very pleased with. When speaking with Molly she said, “I am very proud to have represented myself and Victoria and I am extremely thankful for the wonderful support from my family, friends and the whole Victorian team”. Molly is an extremely dedicated rider, juggling her VCE studies and working two competition horses, Kendalee Eskimo and Mr. Whiplash, to compete in eventing, dressage and show jumping competitions and I admire her organisation and commitment to excell in all of these areas. She is a prime example of what many interschool competitors are dealing with and what these competitions are all about and it is fantastic that there is such support and recognition of the huge effort it takes to juggle studies and a riding career, especially in the final years of school.
Other Victorian team members Alex O’Sullivan and Molly Barry made their National Championship debuts with style finishing in fifth and sixth positions respectively in the Pre Novice and One Star eventing competitions with Victoria placing third in the secondary eventing teams competition. Molly was all smiles as she and her gorgeous gelding Jumpin Jack sailed comfortably through all three phases. Molly was quick to thank her support team especially her “amazing parents! Not only did they drive me some 1,700 km’s to an event, they have also been out helping me in the pouring rain, and brilliant sunshine for the past 12 years helping me learn to ride! And thanks to Danica Webber for organising us all while we were up there! You did an awesome job!!”. Alex O’Sullivan also did a fantastic job on Voe to overcome all the challenges the show jumping and cross country course designers could throw at her over the three days of the eventing competition. Alex is to be commended on the extraordinary effort she puts in to keep her horses in competition condition – as a boarder at MLC in Kew, Alex is no stranger to going the extra mile to work her horses and her success at the championships is a testament to her efforts. Well done girls!
Many of the Victorian team members were calling me and sending me photos in excitement on the first days of the competition as they saw a familiar but unexpected face, that of my previous horse Ellesby Chief Invader. Mister Wilson as he is known to his friends is now owned by a Queensland based young rider and he was offered as a pool horse to the Western Australian team. Ridden by Madison Tristram, Mister Wilson placed fifth in the Secondary Medium Freestyle and was the flag bearer for the WA team in the closing ceremony! It was lovely to hear that the Victorians were so excited to see him happy and healthy in his new home.
These are just some of the many success stories that the Victorian team brought home with them to share with their peers and I hope that we can all learn from and celebrate their very special experiences at the championships. I am very proud of all the feedback I have received and continue to receive and hope that all involved treasure the friends and memories made and continue to compete in and support interschool competitions as they represent a fabulous opportunity for younger riders to shine and foster a love for equestrian sport whilst they are still studying. Another huge congratulations to you all and happy riding for the future!
Below: The Victorian team, photo by Jenny O’Sullivan
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