Whoever the final combinations are, we salute all the nominees, and in this issue we talk to two of them, Kristy Oatley and Warwick McLean. Germany-based Kristy has qualified on her Oldenberg gelding, Rosenlorbeer, having retired on impulse her beloved Du Soleil. She reveals to Adele Severs why she did so, while opening up on their wonderful journey and her faith in her new charges.
Warwick McLean is also based in Germany, where he and wife Carolina have built a formidable reputation with McLean Reitsport. In an interview with Roger Fitzhardinge, Warwick reveals the secrets to his success and the demand for his knack of sorting out “problem” horses.
In our Special Feature, Roger talks to another Aussie with a reputation as a problem solver: Tanja Mitton’s holistic approach to mindset coaching has competition riders beating a path to her door in Queensland. Drawing on her life experiences, see why she is getting results.
Top riders are also hoofing it to Dorset in England, where expats Chris and Bek Burton have curated one of the UK’s grandest new equestrian showcases, Chedington Equestrian. In our Property profile, marvel at the state-of-the-art facilities that can host teams from all Olympic disciplines. The latest to base there is the Willinga Park team, including Jayden Brown, another World Championships candidate.
In our extensive Training section, Kerry Mack unpacks what getting “on the bit” really means, Roger takes us through the extended paces with his judge’s eye, and Michael Baker translates what “straightness” is his enlightening series on the Language of Dressage.
In Eventing, Shenae Lowings tells Adele how she transformed ex-racehorse Hell On Wheels into a rising star with World Championship potential; it was a hell of a job, she admits, but well worth it.
There’s more great mid-winter reading in our Lifestyle section, such as discovering the benefits of Equine Assisted Learning with Tanya McDermott, and Suzy Jarratt’s account of the real story behind the hit movie The Horse Whisperer. In Health, Ellie Jolley reminds us that winter is the time to prepare for spring’s surge of activity, and vet Dr Maxine Brain discussed medical emergencies – and how you can help vets make those life-or-death decisions when prioritising call-outs.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch… they haven’t forgotten how to have fun in Tamworth! The town that gives us Australia’s biggest country music festival also hosts the biggest event on the cutting calendar, the NCHA Futurity. Amanda Young knows well this world of thrills and skills and takes us to the two-week carnival that is the richest indoor performance horse event in the southern hemisphere.
Enjoy the full spectrum of equestrianism! EQ
Robert McKay AM