SOME of Australia’s best riders and their mounts will once again ply their trade in the ThinLine Dressage with Altitude International, which starts today at Orange’s Bradgate Park Indoor Arena.
The three-day, European-style boutique event features international standard and national competitions including Grand Prix, Novice and Advanced.
Event director Cathie Drury-Klein said approximately 90 riders will compete, including several 2014 national squad members.
These include Rozzie Ryan (riding GV Bullwinkle), Caroline Wagner (Tango V), Brett Parbery (DP Weltmieser), Tor Van Den Burge (Lauries AS) and Olympian Heath Ryan (Regardez Moi and Utopian Cardinal).
National youth development squad member Megan Bryant will be on board Northern Xanthus III and is also expected to excel.
Drury-Klein also highlighted several other elite Grand Prix combinations to watch, particularly Robyne Smith on board Beauchamp.
Smith has been working with Beauchamp for eight years, and is coming off a “competitive performance” at the Boneo Park CDI3* in Melbourne last month, an event she wanted to pass over when asked about.
“Next question,” Smith laughed.
“It was my first CDI event at Grand Prix level. I was competitive, but I’m looking to improve here.”
Smith is treating the DWA as an opportunity to qualify for state and national championships later in the year.
“Every event is a chance to qualify for those two events,” she said.
The DWA is one of the most important events on the dressage calendar for top riders and their horses.
It is one of just three three-star CDI events in Australia.
The DWA features an international judging panel, including Gothilff Riexinger (Germany), Isobel Wessels (Great Britain), Sue Hobson (New Zealand), and Australians Mary Seefried,, Susie Hoevenaars, Ricky MacMillan, Jane Ventura and Gisela Nilsson-Harding.
The DWA will also feature a new event, the DWA Canine Calcutta.
Dogs will be auctioned off, before racing, with 25 per cent of profits going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The competition at Bradgate Park starts at 8.10am today, 7.30am tomorrow, 8.30am on Saturday and 8am on Sunday.
Entry for spectators is $5.
To get to Bradgate Park, travelling south on Dairy Creek Road, turn right onto Calton Road, then left onto Malabar Road.
Bradgate Park is 200 metres down Malabar Road on the right.