Boneo Park once again played host to the Leader Equine Dressage Spectacular, which was expertly presented by the team at Carlton Performance Horses. Three days of high-level dressage from Preliminary to Grand Prix, with Pony Dressage classes, and Para Dressage CPEDI 2* and 3* running seamlessly alongside each other.
Four riders were selected to make up a team to represent Australia for this CPEDI, with the purpose of creating a score to go towards securing a spot at the Paralympics. Australia needs to be top-ranked in the Oceania region to secure our place at Paris 2024. The riders chosen were Maddison Cooke (Grade 2), Kelly Ffrost (Grade 3), Dianne Barnes (Grade 4) and Kylie Christian (Grade 4). The team produced a very solid score of 473.829, which is a great start to build on throughout the qualifying period.
The selection criteria for individual spots on the Australian team has not been released as yet, but riders know the bar will be high and will be aiming for 70% and over!
Both sections of the CPEDI – the newly named Intermediate 2* and Grand Prix 3* – classes were well supported, with many riders coming from interstate. Established combinations and new partnerships were put through their paces under the very experienced international judging panel of John Robinson (Great Britain), Katherine Lucheschi (Italy) and our own Jane Ventura.
The overall championship winners for the CPEDI 3* were:
Grade 1 – Stella Barton and Falcon Disco Hit
Grade 2 – Maddison Cooke and Byalee Magic II
Grade 3 – Kelly Ffrost and Karabil Park Janz
Grade 4 – Dianne Barnes and Sorena
Grade 5 – Melanie Diplock and Lacara D
The championship winners from the CPEDI 2* were:
Grade 2 – Kate Nipperess and SW Cruiser
Grade 4 – Kirsty Van Loon and HV Dante
Grade 5 – Clare Skerman and Regal Quickstep
Some special mentions must go Stella Barton who rode to a PB of 67.22% in the Grade 1 Grand Prix B test on her lovely horse, Falcon Disco Hit, and to Dianne Barnes who had a great kick-off to her campaign on her new horse, Sorena (owned by Sharyn McCombe), scoring an impressive 74.5% in their freestyle!
I asked Dianne how she felt the competition went for her, and she said: “I loved my time at Boneo catching up with my fellow para riders! I am thrilled with the results, it was a successful first qualifying competition for Sorena and I.”
It was also great to see Sharon Jarvis (after a short-lived retirement) make a comeback to the competition scene riding Jostle R, owned by Rebecca Fenner. When asked how it was to be back competing, Sharon said: “I didn’t realise how much I missed it until I was back out there! I’m very happy to be here with the support of Rozzie and Jostle’s owner Bec, and I’m looking forward to the Paris campaign.”