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Posted by Toni Venhaus on 01/11/2022.
Libby Guest - Statford Novalia winner of the Trailrace Preliminary Championships
Amy-Sue Alston

Final Day and wrap up of the AUS AOR Dressage Championships

Australian Adult Amateur Dressage Championships 2022

Report by Wendy Calabro

As the sun kept on shining into the final day of the Championships, it was Freestyle day and the final rosettes were awarded for the Preliminary and Elementary Championships. 

The Trailrace Preliminary Championship was won convincingly by Libby Guest from Narrabri in north western NSW on her gelding Statford Novalia.  Libby won both the 1B and 1C with scores over 70% in both tests.  The Reserve Champion was Claudia Hobson on her Regardez Moi gelding, Summer Fox. 

The other Championship awarded on Sunday was the Horseland Dural Elementary Championship won by another Narrabri rider, Fiona Williams on LP Concorde, who had been awarded the Reserve Novice Champion on Saturday.  The Reserve Elementary Champion was awarded to Victorian rider, Kathleen Tomkinson-Mullan on Sanskrit Park Alliance.  Kathleen was also the Reserve Medium Champion on Friday. 

In the Freestyle events, Queensland’s Vicki Gowland continued her success from Saturday after being crowned the 2Be Equity Advantage Advanced Champion on her 12 year old mare, Furstin La Joer, winning the Advanced Freestyle with a great score of 72.892%. 

The Denise Rogan Intermediate I Freestyle was won by Georgiana Hartzer on Hudson Bay from NSW, scoring 71.833%. 

And, the final Freestyle of the Championships was the Equestrian NSW Grand Prix Freestyle which was won by the previous days Grand Prix winner, Cathy Chittenden from Falls Creek in NSW on her Sir Donnerhall gelding, Neversfelde Springbok.   

And that was it.  The biggest, most successful Australian Amateur Owner Dressage Championships was over.   

For the first time since the inaugural Amateur Owner Australian Championships were held at QSEC in Caboolture in 2017, the event was held in NSW at SIEC, and it has been declared a resounding success. 

Toni Venhaus, Event Director said, “The feedback and comments from riders has been so positive.   Riders have been so thankful to compete at a National Championships amongst such a relaxed, friendly and welcoming atmosphere.” 

“The quality and depth of combinations at all levels has been outstanding and many rider and horse combinations that have delivered really good performances have been rewarded with scores exceeding 70%.” 

Toni continued, “There were many riders who had not been to SIEC previously and following the Championships have been so complimentary about the facilities and the arenas.” 

There is no doubt that Amateur riders competing amongst their peers, have less pressure and have more opportunity to enjoy the competition in happy and relaxed environment. 

Toni said, “Not only was the competitor feedback positive, but judges and stewards also found the Championships such a positive event with many keen to return in upcoming years. They commented that riders were so polite and accommodating.” 

“I think it is important we support our Amateur Riders.  They are the backbone of the sport,” Toni said. 

Of particular note is the significant number of both Interstate and Regional riders who attended the Championships.  Given the significant flooding in north western NSW and other regional areas in the week prior to the Championships, the attendance of so many regional riders is even more significant. 

“There were so many riders from outside Metropolitan Sydney who were determined to be at the Championships.  Many riders battled struggled to get to the Championships, with so many stories of overcoming adversity to finally compete,” Toni commented. 

Safe travels to those riders heading home to Regional NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

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