More so than in Europe, streaming is an invaluable service in Australia because it brings together our equestrian community from all corners of our continent and gives exposure to our major events countrywide. Where vast distances prohibit travelling to major interstate events, you can now watch live from a screen in the barn, next to the arena, or in the comfort of your home. We are proud of our service to the equestrian community, as well as showcasing our riders to our international following. Read more about our streaming in this issue and the upcoming events that you can watch live.
Heath Ryan (who has been a guest commentator on our live streams) uses his column this issue to address the trials and tribulations of the Australian national dressage selection system. With the World Championships looming in August, he assesses the candidates and draws up his shortlist. I’m sure the contenders will be the first to see where they stand!
If you couldn’t attend the recent PSI Dressage & Jumping with the Stars in person, I trust you were watching online. However, if you were there, wasn’t it great to feel the excitement in the air again, see top-notch competition in the arena and experience the bustle of the trade village at Werribee Park. Dana Krause gives us the lowdown on the results and has a word with Robbie McKinnon, whose six-year-old SPH Fortino took out Young Dressage Horse Champion of Champions. Jayden Brown featured strongly for Willinga Park and, as he tells Adele Severs, is about to pack his bags for his next big move. Elsewhere, Adele catches up with exciting showjumper Lauren Balcomb, who also reveals her plans, hopes and dreams.
Werribee Park also hosted the first EA Australasian Show Horse & Rider Championships in two years, where OTT Thoroughbreds hogged the limelight. We meet the winners in the ring – as well as the winners of their unique version of Fashions in the Field.
While dressage is sometimes seen as the pursuit of the well-heeled, it often takes a down-to-earth rider from the country to show us what it is all about. Jodie Dunstan is one such gem. Without big backers or fanfare, she has put her heart into producing her horses and showed what she and they are made of at this year’s Dressage by the Sea. In an extensive interview with Roger Fitzhardinge, Jodie opens up about her journey and the pleasure she is now getting from the Hanoverian gelding she produced herself, Hollands Bend Highlander.
Up at Tamworth, Jessica Rae signalled she’s back with two solid performances in the CCI4*-S at Tamworth International Eventing. After a couple of years forced layoff due to Covid restrictions and a serious knee injury, she tells Amanda Young she’s excited to be competing again – as well as managing 180 Thoroughbreds. Fascinating reading, and yes, she works 16-hour days to do it all!
Still in the country, at Scone, more than 400 riders and their horses converged on the self-proclaimed Horse Capital of Australia for the week-long national cutting highlight, the NCHA 4CYTE Autumn Spectacular. Much dust – or was it mud? – was raised, as you can imagine!
There’s plenty more good reading in this issue, starting with Kerry Mack’s insightful training tips on why it is good to make mistakes and how to learn from them. We drop in on everybody’s favourite eventing pocket rocket, Algebra, in his retirement; veterinarian Dr Maxine Brain puts us at ease about Japanese encephalitis; Ellie Jolley previews a new product from Hygain that has the potential to ensure your horse absorbs its feed better and protects its digestive system; and Suzy Jarratt revisits Steven Spielberg in the trenches for the making of his epic War Horse. Entertaining as always.
Enjoy your riding over Easter, EQ
Robert McKay AM