In December, Kerry Mack was at the Victorian Dressage Festival to report on NZ Grand Prix rider Vanessa Way’s superb masterclass, structured on consistent training messages. (Steffen Peters, who was originally meant to deliver the masterclass but suffered a health scare, is recovering well at home, according to wife Shannon, and has every intention of campaigning for his sixth Olympics with USA.)
Still on dressage, meet a remarkable Queenslander who is one of the youngest breed assessors accredited with the German Hanoverian Society – and one of very few women. Kaitlin Colless shares her fascination with Hanoverians in her extensive interview with Adele, and how she applies her knowledge with breeding at Sevenoaks Farm. And for your dressage training over the holidays, we republish a popular article by Roger Fitzhardinge on the importance of preparation.
Breeding, of course, is integral to performance horses and yet it has taken an Australian initiative to focus European attention on the genetic lineage of the famous Lipizzaner breed. Lipizzaner researcher Nikki Harding explains how Australia has created a cooperative approach to breeding and the Europeans are jumping on board.
On the Olympic campaign front, Heath Ryan’s popular leaderboards for our Paris Olympics teams are unchanged – there were no relevant competitions in December to change the top 10 standings in either dressage or eventing. The tension, however, is still building, says Heath, with the clock now ticking on the last six months of the qualifying period.
In Eventing, catch up with West Australian Sophie Warren and 15-year-old OTT Reduction, who were triumphant at the gruelling Lakes & Craters International Horse Trials last month. Again, a fascinating equestrian journey for a horse who has had many different riders over the course of his career.
In our Health section, two big challenges: Roger Fitzhardinge brings us up to speed on his personal mission to solve a headshaking enigma with his horse Jeremy, and vet Dr Maxine Brain addresses the mystery of anhidrosis – a sweat gland issue.
Lastly, holiday reading. In Lifestyle, take a celluloid outing with Suzy Jarratt off the coast of Virginia, USA, for the story behind the marvellous Misty movie. Or plot your next holiday adventure with African Horse Safaris, who have built a caring, handpicked network of 30 operators offering almost 50 different rides across a dozen African countries. And if you’re looking for more, sit back and read Amanda Young’s journal on her classical dressage tour of Portugal. If you can’t go yourself, her exquisite account takes you there!
Enjoy the summer,
The EQ Life team