The future of our classic disciplines is in good hands if two young Australian stars featured in this issue are any indication. At just 22, Sam Jeffree is our Australian Eventing Champion after winning the CCI4*-S class at Wandin Park. Grace Kay is the definition of versatile; coming from a dressage background, she is now also highly competitive on the eventing circuit. In addition, Paralympian Sharon Jarvis hopes her new ride will get her to her third Games after they were the Grade IV Champions at the Australian Para Dressage Championships at Boneo Park.
Meanwhile, big things are happening in the bush. Willinga Park has upped the ante in the action world of campdrafting by putting a total prize pool of $286,000 on the table for its Volkswagen World Championship Gold Buckle Campdraft, including $100,000 cash for the Gold Buckle winner. No wonder defending title-holder Pete Comiskey and other big names are lining up to sort Terry Snow’s cattle!
Not to be outdone in Aussie initiative, horse-crazy Scone in the Upper Hunter has already pulled off an improbable feat. A wild idea of pitting the leading thoroughbred racing studs against each other in the cutting ring brought the house down at the National Cutting Horse Association’s Autumn Spectacular. As one participant said, it was “as much fun as you can have with…” – well, we’ll let you read the reviews!
With the Tokyo Olympics only months away, Heath Ryan looks at the Nomination Criteria for dressage riders vying to make the cut; with a lack of CDIs in Australia, things are not looking good for locally based combinations who don’t already have the required scores on the board. The race for a place on the British team is also on as we check in with eventer Georgina ‘Piggy’ March at her yard in Northamptonshire. After time out, she is back in the hunt and is again sitting amongst the best of the British eventers.
Buying a new horse can be the most daunting task you ever do in this game, but it need not be! Our Special Feature demystifies the process and, until someone invents a rider-horse match-making app, we lay down the best practical guidelines for you to find your special horse!
Training and horse health are always essential to getting the most out of riding. Roger Fitzhardinge draws on his experience as a rider and FEI judge to present his 10 top tips for the Medium Tour tests, while Kerry Mack tells how dressage training can benefit showjumping. On the veterinary front, Dr Maxine Brain discusses a revolutionary new system for assessing pain and lameness in horses.
After training, put up your feet and escape to remote islands in Indonesia, where a couple find themselves unexpectedly working with locals to improve the lives of their unique work horses. Or turn back the clock and learn the story behind My Friend Flicka in Suzy Jarratt’s popular series on Horses in the Movies.
As always, enjoy the ride! EQ
Robert McKay AM