NEWS > Dressage
Posted by By Krystyna Pollard on 05/05/2018.
Judy Dierks on Diamond Star
Franz Venhaus


Judy Dierks and Diamond Star have taken out the showcase event of the 2018 OTTO SPORT AUSTRALIA Sydney CDI3*, the Equestrian NSW Grand Prix Freestyle CDI.

Dierks and Diamond Star scored 72.620 per cent, more than one per cent ahead of Deon Stokes and the Royal Olymp stallion, Royal Oak II, on 71.315 per cent. Shannan Goodwin riding Aristede was third with 70.480 per cent.

The top six competitors in the Grand Prix Freestyle all scored in excess of 70 per cent.

Dierks said she was “so happy” about the win, as well as the new OTTO SPORT AUSTRALIA surface in the Sydney International Equestrian Centre's (SIEC) indoor arena.

I'm so happy that I got to see in my lifetime a fabulous surface here,” she said during the presentation. “Thank you so much for that.

Thank you Equestrian NSW, all the volunteers, [Sydney CDI Event Director] Toni Venhaus, and of course Vicki Newham [owner of Diamond Star] ... and my wonderful team.”

It was a repeat of yesterday's performance for Judy and daughter Daniella, who both came off wins to also take out their respective freestyles today. Daniella and her German stallion Solo Feliz won today's Zilco Intermediate Freestyle CDI3* with 75.100 per cent.

Daniella was also presented with the John Lieutenant Memorial Trophy for 2018, which is awarded to the individual horse and rider combination obtaining the best three official scores in the PSG, Intermediate I, and Intermediate Freestyle, or Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle.

Meanwhile, guest rider Vanessa Way of New Zealand had been impressed with the quality of the horses she rode in the Sydney CDI Young Horse finals earlier in the day, saying they were a credit to Australia.

I was really impressed, [they were] beautiful, beautiful horses,” she said. “I had some really amazing rides.”

Way awarded her highest rider mark of 9.5 to the six-year-old Belissimo M gelding, Karizmah Billionaire.

To me he was just so sensitive to the aids,” she explained. “I have been drilled and drilled and ridden a lot of Carl Hester's young horses, and to be an elite they are exceptionally sensitive to the leg aids and very willing.

I just loved it. I loved its type and it did actually feel like it wanted to offer me a couple of piaffe steps.”

But it wasn't just Karizmah Billionaire's willingness and submission Way enjoyed, but also his colour – a stunning palomino.

A former Sydney CDI competitor herself, Way said she thoroughly enjoyed her time at the event.

I have loved it. It's always my favourite show, to be fair,” she said. “If I found a million, I would be here every year because it's my favourite show to compete. The atmosphere, the people are always so much fun, and I really enjoy myself.”

Popular with the Sydney CDI audience was the evening's quadrille entertainment, with four teams of two and four combinations riding to music immediately before the Grand Prix Freestyle Exhibtion.

The Dressage NSW Young Rider Pas de Deux team of Isabella McNamara and Georgia Davenport was awarded first place by judges Ricky MacMillan and Virginia Creed, claiming the first prize of $1,000.

Finally, OTTO SPORT AUSTRALIA Sydney CDI Event Director Toni Venhaus was formally recognised by Equestrian Australia chair Judy Fasher for her long involvement with the event.

Toni has been honoured with receiving the Equestrian Australia 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, and the achievement was marked with a formal presentation before the Grand Prix Freestyle competition in the indoor arena.

I want to thank everybody that took the time to vote for me. I think there are a lot of other people probably more worthy than what I am who have been in it a long time,” she said.

I do appreciate the support. I have enjoyed most of my time working as a volunteer and as the secretary for Dressage NSW as well as wearing my event organising hat.

I want to say thank you to everybody – thank you to Equestrian Australia and more importantly, thank you to everybody that's helped me do what I have to do. I couldn't have done it on my own.”


IRT Advanced Tournament Freestyle: Elliot Patterson and Bluefields Berlin (NSW), 76.908%.

Agnes Banks Equine Clinic Young Rider Freestyle CDI-Y: Tayla Desmet and Rodrigo III (VIC), 68.950%.

HyGain FEI Medium Tour Freestyle CDN: Emma Flavelle-Watts and Cabaret C (QLD), 70.825%.

Mulawa Performance FEI 16 – 25 Grand Prix Freestyle CDI U25: Mary Warren and Mindarah Park Raphael (NSW), 70.10%.

SAP FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDN: Susan Elekessy and Don Rubin (NSW), 66.710%.  

Commins Hendriks Solicitors FEI Para-Equestrian Freestyle: Gr II – Victoria Davies and Bravour M (NSW), 72.722%; Gr III – Emma Booth and Mogelvangs Zidane (VIC), 76.667%; Gr IV – Sarah Sherwood and Janevelyn Tsunami (QLD), 68.067%.

HHSA Young Dressage Horse Finals: 4yo winner – Escala RW, ridden by Amanda Shoobridge; 5yo winner – Bluefields Dankeschoen, ridden by Lisa Janke; 6yo winner – Karizmah Billionaire, ridden by Danni Walliss.

Zilco Intermediate Freestyle CDI3*: Daniella Dierks and Solo Feliz (NSW), 75.100%.

Equestrian NSW Grand Prix Freestyle (CDI): Judy Dierks and Diamond Star (NSW), 72.620%.

#sydneycdi18 #ridewithus



PICTURE CAPTION: PIC_1: Danni Wallis and Karizmah Billionaire received the highest rider score from New Zealand guest rider, Vanessa Way. PICTURE: Stephen Mowbray.

VIDEOS AVAILABLE TO EMBED: Please see for videos of GUEST RIDER VANESSA WAY and YOUNG RIDER PRESENTATIONS that can be shared and embedded.

MEDIA INFORMATION ONLY (Not For Publication): Krystyna Pollard 0406 693 735.

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