PLUS: HEATH ON HERNING & PRATONI, WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST-TIMERS, ROGER’S HORSES TO WATCH, MICHAEL BAKER ON TRAINING COLLECTION, BEN ATKINSON’S ACTION HORSES, NIPPY THE TIKTOK SENSATION, MAXINE BRAIN’S LAMINITIS ALERT & RUDOLPH VALENTINO’S ARABIAN AFFAIR.
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A Few Words
FROM THE CHAIRMAN
BACK TO THE FUTURE AT THE WORLDS
BY HEATH RYAN
AUSSIES FLY THE FLAG IN ITALY
BY ADELE SEVERS
LYNDAL OATLEY ON RIDING THE CURVES
BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE
WHY WE LOVE OUR SPORT
BY DR KERRY MACK
BY ADELE SEVERS
RUDOLPH VALENTINO’S ARABIAN AFFAIR
BY SUZY JARRATT
GRAND PRIX HORSES TO WATCH
BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE
BEN ATKINSON MAKES MAGIC HAPPEN
INTERVIEW BY PHOEBE OLIVER, WRITTEN BY ADELE SEVERS
If you’ve ever wondered why we love our sport so much, you only had to tune into the FEI World Championships at Herning to be reminded of how enthralling and engaging equestrianism is. Seeing the world’s best riders and horses in action – the grace, the beauty, the mastery, the driven competitiveness – all reinforced what we love about our equine sports.
Our Dressage team did what they set out to do in Denmark and secured a berth for Australia at the Olympics in Paris, 2024. In this issue, we bring you extensive coverage of the World Championships. Team stalwart Lyndal Oatley shares in detail her experiences with Eros, while three Aussies who made their debuts on the world stage tell Adele Severs what it meant to them to compete at the highest level. Roger Fitzhardinge rounds out our analysis with his firsthand impressions of the dressage horses that stood out and the ones to watch.
Heath Ryan also puts Herning under his microscope and tells us what he sees while also previewing our prospects in Eventing at the second leg of the World Championships at Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy, this month.
Adele Severs reports that our Eventing team is a formidable combination of seasoned campaigners and exciting new blood. In an extensive preview, Andrew Hoy reveals how he feels about his chances aboard the mighty Vassily de Lassos (it’s a step by step, day by day preparation, he says in his best football coach impersonation), while Shane Rose, Kevin McNab and Hazel Shannon open up about their dreams and excitement. Adele also takes a look at our nominated Driving team of multiple world champion Boyd Exell and newcomer to four-in-hand Tor Van Den Berge. Fasten your seat belts if they get the nod!
With the love of our sport an underlying theme this issue, Kerry Mack pulls up her psychiatrist’s chair and delves into our sporting psyche. As one of the many behind-the-scenes drivers of Equestrian Australia’s volte-face over sending a Para Dressage team to Herning, Dr Mack talks to a number of local para riders about what the sport means to them. No surprises. It’s all about loving the community, the self-improvement, participation and competition from grass roots to mountain peaks.
So, in between competitions, don’t forget to keep up your training with Michael Baker as he explains collection in his ongoing series on the Language of Dressage. Away from the arena, sit back and enjoy everything else that makes our sport so much fun.
Phoebe Oliver talks to Ben Atkinson, the English trainer in huge demand for his action horse teams on screen (think Peaky Blinders, The Witcher, Wuthering Heights). Ellie Jolley also brings us the inside word on social media equine star, Nippy the TikTok horse. Far removed from social media, Suzy Jarratt takes us back to the silent movie era and lifts the veil on the Arabian stallion that stole Rudolph Valentino’s heart!
For a reality check as spring comes to life around us, make sure you read vet Dr Maxine Brain’s tips on how to prevent laminitis breaking out in your horses.
With the World Championships now moving to Italy, it’s time to put away the Danish pastries and gammel dansk and order in a pizza or bowl of amatricana. Pass the chinotto or Prosecco and settle in for more late-night indulgence of what makes our sport so good and why we love it. EQ
Robert McKay AM
National equestrian personality, international dressage and eventing rider, Olympian, judge, coach and breeder, Heath is never backward in offering his unique insights into the sport and industry.
As a judge, coach, competitor and commentator, Roger’s passion to tell the real stories behind the horses and horse people shines through in his unique brand of equestrian photojournalism.
DR KERRY MACK
Grand Prix dressage rider, coach and Mayfield Farm stud principal, Kerry draws on her learning as a qualified psychiatrist to approach training from the cerebral perspective as well as the physical.
DR MAXINE BRAIN
Dr Maxine Brain is an equine vet dedicated to achieving optimal equine health and performance with her team at Kilmore Equine Clinic, which she founded.
Suzy has a rich background in newspaper journalism and radio broadcasting in NSW and nationally, and last year won an international award for equestrian journalism.
Top level eventer turned FEI dressage competitor, Michael Baker is a Level 3 coach and has been successful at World Cup level.
Having had horses all her life and ridden in nearly every country she has visited, Phoebe has recently combined her love and travel and horses with her background in PR to launch a new business — The Equine Collective.
Les Garennes, Michelle Terlato Photography, Roger Fitzhardinge, Dirk Caremans – Hippo Foto, One Eyed Frog Photography, EJ Lazenby, Amelia Sting, Samantha Barnes, Liz Martin Photography, Amy Mundell, Deutsche Reiterliche Vereinigung, & FEI – Leanjo de Koster/Libby Law Photography/Liz Gregg.
The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of EQ Life. To the extent permitted by law, EQ Life disclaims any liability whatsoever in relation to any advice, representation, statement, opinion or other matter expressed in this magazine. EQ Life does not accept responsibility for errors in advertisements, articles, unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. Riding, training or otherwise working with horses and other animals can be dangerous and may result in harm or injury. Readers of this magazine should not engage in such activities unless they do so safely.