After the horse, it’s the rider who makes the difference, and our cover story is about an Australian Olympian kicking goals in Europe. Recently relocating from Gestüt Bonhomme near Berlin to the Ritzinger Family’s yard in Bavaria, Simone Pearce has long paid her dues at the FEI/WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championship for Young Horses. This year on board the Westphalen gelding No Limit she broke through to nail silver in the five-year-old final, remarkably the first Australian medal at an international championship-level dressage event! As she puts her hand up for Paris 2024, she tells Adele Severs in an extensive interview she’s really liking her move to Bavaria: “It’s a little bit more similar to Australia.” Laid-back, as it were.
The Olympics are always Heath Ryan’s bag as he gives us the rundown on who’s knocking on the stable door for Paris. Beyond Paris, of course, is Brisbane 2032, and Adele brings us up to speed on Mary Nitschke – incidentally a protégé of the Ryans – as she dares to dream that far ahead.
A solid indicator of which world powers will dominate dressage at the Olympics are the FEI European Dressage Championships, says Roger Fitzhardinge, who runs his eye over the entrants for this huge competition about to get underway in Germany.
So, sniff the spring breeze with us this issue. From essential tips in Training from Kerry Mack to Suzy Jarratt’s popular Horses in the Movies series and veterinarian Dr Maxine Brain’s Health insights, there’s plenty of dismounted reading. And when you’re back in the barn topping up the feed bin, consider the advice from feeding expert Colin Price on what should be in that bag you’re tipping out. He speaks from experience.
Other great Australian stories include David Paradice’s journey from Scone to world polo power broker; Kaitlin Labahn-Meyland’s enduring partnership with champion show horse Rolex II; and Bridget Murphy’s firsthand account of how our Para Dressage riders stormed Hartpury’s International Dressage Festival. And late news flash: Jodie McKeone has just nailed a medal at the FEI Para Driving World Championship for Singles, another Aussie first!
Heads and saddle up, folks, there’s so much equestrian news waiting for you!