THE level of competition at the Dressage With Altitude is getting higher every year and the 2013 event will be no exception.
Some of Australia’s top riders and their horses will be on show from today at Orange’s Bradgate Park for the Dressage With Altitude.
One of those riders is Queensland’s Sheridyn Ashwood with Prestige VDL, which has won both state and nationals titles.
They will team up for the ThinLine Australia Grand Prix CDI (Competition Dressage International).
Ashwood and Prestige have been working together for 17 months and placed second at last month’s 2013 Credit Suisse Boneo Park CDI in the Grand Prix CDI.
Rozzie Ryan and GV Bullwinkle, who represented Australia as first reserve at the 2012 London Olympics, claimed first place with a score of 69.289%.
Ashwood and Prestige were second on 68.915%.
Ashwood had mixed emotions about the result.
“All I want to do is stay consistent with my scores,” Ashwood explained.
“My goal was for 65% this year and I’ve already exceeded that with 68.9% at Boneo.
“I find I’m always second to Rozzie Ryan,” she laughed.
Ryan isn’t the only tough competition Ashwood will come up against, with top riders Heath Ryan, Tor Van Den Berge and David Shoobridge also competing.
Ashwood will also be riding a small tour horse, Il Bamboccio in the Orange Vet Hospital Intermediate 1 CDI.
The 33-year-old could find the intermediate event more challenging after a short preparation with Il Bamboccio.
“This is his first show in over a year,” Ashwood explained.
“I’ve been working with him for three months. It will be interesting to see how he goes.”
The Dressage With Altitude is an important event on the dressage calendar for the top riders and their horses.
It is a three-star CDI event, one of only three in Australia.
The three-star rating is the highest in Australia and relates to the level of facilities.
“There is a CDI in Sydney in May so riders will be looking to get good qualifying scores for that,” Dressage With Altitude event director Cathy Drury-Klein explained.
“In 2014 there is the World Equestrian Games in France. They want to get scores so the selectors look at them.”
This year there are three overseas judges coming to the event including Sweden’s Gustaf Svalling, America’s Anne Gribbons and New Zealand’s Helen Hughes-Keen.
There will also be five internationally accredited Australian judges on hand.
In a first for the event this year, the competition will be streamed live on the internet at www.equestrianlife.com.au.
The competition at Bradgate Park starts at 9am today and tomorrow, 10.30am on Saturday and 8.30am on Sunday.
Entry for spectators is $5.