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Australian Dressage Championships 2016

Australian Dressage Championships 2016

On Monday the 17th of October mum and I flew back up to Canberra to go to Callum Park. Monday and Tuesday were spent training, finalising my freestyle, creating a new freestyle for Susan and Toby and packing ready to leave Wednesday morning. There was also a lot of playing with the foal whose name is Hamish, and he is a very cheeky little fellow! Wednesday morning at about 9am we set off for SIEC. It felt like we had never been home as we were only at SIEC 2 weeks earlier for Interschools Nationals!

Wednesday was spent unpacking, setting stables up and riding. I had a lesson with Susan that afternoon and Susan had a run through of her freestyle. I hadn’t been well at all during the week with tonsillitis, an ear infection and this weird flu thing that made me very nauseous and sick. Thursday morning was an early one getting up at 6.30am to plait. A huge thank you to Phyllis Dodd for plaiting Jay up for me while I was trying not to be sick. Also a huge thank you to Rikke Buhl-Christensen and Christina Mikkelsen for all of their help during the week!

My first test was the Para Grade IV Team Test at 9.15am. I put Jay in the snaffle for this test, as I wanted to see how he would go in it. He did a super test, mistake free (with no flying changes thank god!) but he just wasn’t quite up and collected enough in front. We scored a respectable 65.952% with the top judge score being 67.262%.

The second test I put Jay back into the double bridle with my looped reins, which made thing a little easier for me as I still wasn’t well. My second test was at 2.49pm and was the Para Grade IV Individual Test. This test is quite an odd test to ride, but we did another clean test (again no flying changes! Yay!), and I came out of the test really happy with Jay and how he looked after me. We had a better score of 66.865%, a top score of 68.929%, even though we all thought the score would have been higher, oh well that’s dressage for you and I was happy with it anyway!

Friday was a rest day for me, good thing too as it was a very hot 34°c! In the afternoon I had my freestyle practice and I had the chance to run through my test with Jay, which was great. Our freestyle was up in Arena 1A, at the very top at SIEC and it was great that Jay was a lot more relaxed then what he was at the Sydney CDI. Our freestyle practice was at 5.21pm so it had cooled off by then which was great. Susan also had her Grand Prix and did a super test with Toby; apart from a mistake it was his best Grand Prix test to date!

Saturday morning I plaited Jay up again ready for our freestyle at 3.24pm. There was a bit of panic when we hadn’t been told that our times had changed, when I had check my time at the riders office an hour before my ride and it hadn’t changed on there, but on the website it had… Also people were riding out of order as they wanted to ride before the rain etc. Anyway we didn’t have our nice usual warm up, but it all turned out ok and we did our best test of the week! Again we thought the scores were a tad low, but I didn’t care as the freestyle was so much fun! It was also great that Bec, Jay’s old owner, and her friends came up to watch us, causing a few tears between everyone! We ended up on a score of 67.833% with a top score of 68.750%. It was a great week, one of the best competition weeks I have had, apart from being sick! We won the National Title for the Grade IV Para Equestrian! Saturday night was great being able to watch all of the GP Freestyles, a huge congrats to Mary Warren for absolutely nailing her freestyle it was incredible to watch! Susan also did a great job with her freestyle!

Sunday we drove back to Canberra and Monday we flew home. Now to finish school and get my exams out of the way before returning to Canberra to train and then to compete at the Victorian Dressage Festival in December! It has been a great month winning two national titles and a reserve national title in the space of 3 weeks! A huge thank you to the whole Callum Park team, especially Susan Elekessy my coach! A huge thank you also as always goes to my family, friends, sponsors and supporters and the whole dressage community for all of their support!

Thanks for reading,

Caitlin xx

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