ISSUE 65
APRIL 2021
A BRIGHT
FUTURE

YOUNG STARS SHINE
HELL OR HIGH WATER
IN THE HUNTER
LYNDAL OATLEY’S
NEW SOULMATE

PLUS: HEATH’S ROAD TO DRESSAGE GOLD, ROHAN LUXMOORE LOOKS TO THE FUTURE, KERRY MACK’S 23 SHOULDER-IN EXERCISES, WAYNE COPPING & NARACOORTE HORSE TRIALS, LIFE-SIZE HORSE ART, JAPPELOUP ON THE SILVER SCREEN, AMY STOVOLD AIMS HIGH, GENETIC TESTING, DIGESTIVE HEALTH & MORE

AUSTRALIA`S BEST EQUINE MAGAZINE
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ISSUE 65

CONTENTS

APRIL 2021
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A few Words

FROM THE CHAIRMAN

ROBERT MCKAY

Ryan's Rave

TAKE #2: BRISBANE OLYMPICS 2032 DRESSAGE

BY HEATH RYAN

Special feature

THROUGH HELL OR HIGH WATER

BY ELLIE JOLLEY

Showjumping

BILLY RAYMONT GETS THE CHOCOLATES

BY ADELE SEVERS

Dressage

VIVA ELVIVE! LYNDAL’S NEW SOULMATE

BY ELLIE JOLLEY

Training

23 SHOULDER-IN EXERCISES TO IMPROVE YOUR HORSE

BY DR KERRY MACK

Lifestyle

THE LITTLE HORSE THAT COULD

BY SUZY JARRATT

Lifestyle

THE ART OF HORSES IS UNFINISHED BUSINESS

BY ADELE SEVERS

Health

EQUINE DIGESTIVE HEALTH: OMEPRAZOLE & THE MICROBIOME

BY KENTUCKY EQUINE RESEARCH

Health

THE BENEFITS OF GENETIC TESTING

BY DR MAXINE BRAIN

Eventing

ROHAN LUXMOORE LOOKS TO THE FUTURE

BY AMANDA YOUNG

Eventing

THE GOING IS ALWAYS GOOD AT NARACOORTE

BY ADELE SEVERS

Dressage

THE STARS SHINE AT DJWTS

BY DANA KRAUSE

Dressage

A YOUNG RIDER SEIZES THE MOMENT

BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE

Dressage

AMY STOVOLD IS AIMING HIGH AGAIN

BY PHOEBE OLIVER
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Charlotte Phillips and CP Dresden. © Stephen Mowbray
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Not only were Charlotte Phillips’ performances at Willinga Park aboard CP Dresden inspiring, they were a sparkling window into the depth of young rider talent on show at this year’s Dressage by the Sea.

“Being good at school, she was sure
she was going to become a navy
pilot and fly helicopters.”

Charlotte Phillips has taken to the FEI ranks like a duck to water. Charlotte was not the only young rider to have the chance at Willinga Park to shine on a horse that has had good training and experience — but she certainly made the most of her opportunities. The talk of Dressage by the Sea 2021 was the talent in the younger rider ranks, and there is no question that the importation of good horses and the chance to take on high-level horses helps the riders to have some incredible competitive experience and success.

Charlotte was born in Watford in the UK after her Aussie mother, Rachel, and British father, Ben, met whilst working on a cruise ship. Neither had any interest in horses but decided to settle in New South Wales, where Rachel’s family hailed from, when Charlotte was about a year old. They bought a house in Shellharbour, about 100km south of Sydney, where Ben was able to continue as a ship’s captain on a five-week on, five week-off roster.

A three-year stint in Launceston followed for the family while Ben studied at the Australian Maritime College; this was a time they absolutely loved. Renting 10 acres, they leased some mini ponies — however these ponies were “slightly cranky” and therefore never ridden! With Ben’s study complete, it was then back to life in NSW.

Charlotte did not ride until she was nine years old. It was while the family, by then with twins Zac and Maddie, were on a farm stay holiday that Rachel caught Charlotte trying to climb onto a Shetland pony in a paddock. From there on it was horse crazy. A galloway called Lady was purchased from the local Camden sales and, as you do, Lady was agisted at Albion Park.

Charlotte remembers spending a lot of time wrapped around Lady’s neck as she was forever pig-rooting! Charlotte excelled at school and loved to ride whenever she could. Lady was superseded by Rusty, whom Charlotte took to Pony Club. Rachel then thought that Arabians were the way to go and so one was purchased and they started doing the Arabian shows.

A GUIDING HAND

A good friend in Tibby Barbour took Charlotte on as a pupil and the team excelled, with Charlotte the consummate student and Rachel the consummate showing mother who loved all things fashionable! It was with Tibby’s influence that Charlotte started dressage and, being smart, was soon very interested in the discipline and the structure of the competition tests.

It was another Arabian, Rosegum Goldrush (Snickers), who took Charlotte to the next level, winning a lot of Arabian championships and doing well in the Young Rider National Championships and National Interschools events in Novice dressage when she was in year six. They won the Champion of Champions at the East Coast Championships and Charlotte won the NSW Young Rider Novice Child Rider Champion. They were ENSW Interschool Novice Champion and third at the EA Interschools Nationals.

Then there was Russell (Aloha Gladiator), a newly broken-in Arabian Warmblood that was far from easy but flash as and a great colour! Rachel had a knack for buying horses willy-nilly in the utmost faith that her daughter would make them into champions! She always loved a bargain with a challenge included. With Tibby guiding them along the right path, another good riding horse was developed, one that Charlotte took to Medium level dressage before handing over the reins to sister Maddie. (Russell is the current Arabian Derivative of the year.) By this time Charlotte was all of 15 years of age, and being good at school, she was sure she was going to become a navy pilot and fly helicopters.

“Charlotte is no shrinking violet.”

It was obvious that a property was to be found to accommodate the showing and riding acquisitions, so Ben and Rachel found a great place in Cambewarra (near Nowra). Ben continued as a ship’s captain while Rachel became assistant for the director of nursing at Shoalhaven hospital. An FEI rider and coach from Berry, Pamela Bice, gave Charlotte an amazing opportunity to ride two of her ponies — Kooralyn Serena and Rosthwaite Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell was trained by Pamela to Grand Prix and Charlotte competed her at the National Young Rider Championships.

Although now competing at FEI level, Charlotte remains very involved in the Pony Club scene and has not only competed at national level there, but is also part of the Pony Club Junior Executive Committee.

The horses were put on the back-burner for Charlotte’s year 12 while her studies took precedence; Charlotte graduated in 2019 with an ATAR of 82.05. In 2020 she started medical biochemistry at the University of Wollongong and also took on part-time work as a stable hand for Pamela Bice. Mid-year she changed uni studies to pharmacy, an online degree that allows time for the horses. She is now training a Welsh D for her sister in her spare time and is still riding and grooming for Pamela.

“With Des being so honest,
I know if I do the correct
thing he will oblige.”

AN IDEAL MATCH

It was in August last year that Tibby mentioned that Jane Bruce was considering having a young rider take over the reins of CP Dresden from long-time student and rider Alycia Targa, who had trained the horse under Jane’s constant watch. Dresden had given his all throughout the road to Grand Prix and was getting some fantastic results. Jane and Alycia brought this super horse from breaking in through all the grades to Grand Prix, scoring over 70% in several CDI competitions. Des, as he is known, is an absolute champion and tries his heart out at every ride.

Jane thought that with Covid and no foreseeable CDI competitions, it was an opportunity to give Des a break from the serious hard work and perhaps she could even ride him a little again herself. She wanted to give another young rider an opportunity, just as Alycia had had the opportunity with Neversfelde Kudu, who took Alycia to the Young Rider World Cup final in Frankfurt! Tibby heard of this, and being a friend of Jane’s, suggested Charlotte apply. Being local and already well known to Jane, it all fitted well and Charlotte started to ride Des.

It was Covid time and competitions were scarce. Despite applying to Equestrian Australia for an exemption to having to ride Advanced, PSG, Inter A, and Inter II before riding Grand Prix, it was knocked back, so it was off to find enough shows to qualify for the upcoming bigger competitions. It was a baptism of fire for Charlotte and she took it all in her stride. After four weeks of riding Des, she competed at her first PSG and scored nearly 70%. This trend continued at all the levels towards Grand Prix.

Charlotte has a great empathy about her riding. She is a smart, keen and dedicated student. Of course, Jane Bruce is a very competent rider, coach and judge who has watched over Des in his schooling and knows him like the back of her hand. Her ability to impart the simplicity of riding to Charlotte — who has had great basic grounding through Tibby and her own green horses, including the opportunities with Pamela Bice and her ponies — saw an amazing relationship emerge very quickly.

Charlotte is no shrinking violet and a consummate competitor. Her dedication to the basics has put her in great stead to step in to the role of riding Dresden at Grand Prix. It was no little competition where she started her GP career but none other than Willinga Park’s Dressage by the Sea. In a top-class competition in her very first Big Tour event, they scored 67.696% in the Inter II, 65.87% in the Grand Prix and a great 68.425% in their first ever Freestyle. With the event running back-to-back competitions, the following weekend saw them improve their scores with 66.587% in the Grand Prix, 68.935% in the Freestyle and 65.681% in their first Grand Prix Special!

It just goes to show that with good coaching and a good basic knowledge in dressage riding and training, the transition to riding a well-trained horse is very possible. By the same token, this is not possible without that special horse, as Dresden is, support from family, a great coach and mentor with the experience and confidence of someone like Jane Bruce — and above all a confident and quiet mind, true passion and dedication, as it is with Charlotte.

“The young riders in Australia
are improving in leaps and bounds.”

CHANCE OF A LIFETIME

“To be given this chance is a lifetime dream that has landed in my lap,” says Charlotte. “I say ‘lifetime’ meaning a mere few years that have taken my dressage career into the top group of Grand Prix competitors. Des is a superstar and he never ever does not try his hardest to work out what I am trying to do. To have a horse that is so wonderfully schooled, thanks to Jane and Alycia, is an experience that I still pinch myself to realise it is true every day. To ride him at this level has been a very steep learning curve. I take each day as it comes and try to remember the feelings and the way that I rode to get that. I think about it a lot until the next day and see if I can replicate it.

“With Des being so honest, I know if I do the correct thing he will oblige. I am sure this is rare and I am very fortunate. I take it very seriously, and as for the competing, it’s simply exciting! I do not get nervous about competing and I certainly do not feel any pressure to do well, simply to get out there and ride as I do at home. It’s daunting putting it all together but we practise the movements, their preparations and ways they finish every time I ride. Never the whole test but sections, and work on making them better through better riding and better adjustability.

“There are several other young riders who have good horses that they have been offered by experienced riders, and they too are loving the opportunities availed to them. I am grateful for the opportunity and am making the most of every day with Des, as you never know what is around the corner. ‘Live for the day’ is a great motto and I surely feel the luckiest person right now.”

On asking Jane Bruce the direction forwards she sees for Dresden, she says: “Covid meant an end to any CDI events in the near future and so I started to ride Des myself a little; I really enjoyed being able to do this, but he is too good a horse to just give me a couple of pleasure rides a week. I so enjoy the riding side and also to share the opportunity again with seeing a young rider gaining precious insight and experience. I love the coaching and the training side of the sport as well. Charlotte was in the right place at the right moment and has taken on the opportunity with open arms. I am really enjoying the time again and to see the joy and the improvement is an absolute delight. To see them progressing and to see them at the competition doing so well is exciting, to say the least.

“Des is a gem and who knows where this may lead. Who knows what the future holds, but I know that Des continues to get stronger and more relaxed and confident in all his work, and with no pressure for big competitions, it’s working in his favour. I am loving the time with this special horse, and the rides I have keep my attention and realisation of the years of experience that I have enjoyed. Who knows, perhaps I may again compete!”

It’s a great story and the young riders in Australia are improving in leaps and bounds. It’s with owners allowing the younger talented riders the opportunities to gain invaluable experience on the well-schooled horses that improves the standards enormously. Thanks to the likes of Jane Bruce and others, our young riders are gaining the chance of a lifetime to ride horses they perhaps could not afford or find for themselves — and our sport is no doubt all the better for it. EQ

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