NEWS > Dressage
Posted by Sydney CDI Media Release on 12/02/2020.
Photos supplied by Briana, courtesy Eurodressage

Sydney CDI Young Horse Guest Rider Announced

Aussie Expat Briana Burgess announced as the Young Horse Guest Rider for the Kohnke’s Own NSW Young Horse Championships

Successful Australian international Grand Prix rider and young horse finalist, Briana Burgess has recently returned from France after training with French Team rider Alexandre Ayache and Estonian Grand Prix Grete Püvi Ayache to be this year’s Young Horse Guest Rider at Australia's most prestigious international dressage event, the 2020 Sydney CDI3*.  

Briana’s 2017 record stands as the second highest result ever achieved by an Australian rider at the World Young Horse Championships, scoring 8.94 (4th place) in the qualifying round, and 8.4 (8th place) in the final round of the six-year-old division riding Gerion (then owned by Rob & Mary Hanna). 

Briana’s time in Europe after high school cemented her aspirations to become a professional dressage rider at an international dressage stable.  Since those early days, she has developed a resume that includes some of the very best riders and trainers in the world including Canadian dressage rider Penny Zavitz-Rockx (former Dutch team trainer); held a working student position with Monica Theodorescu (German team trainer & Olympic medallist) for 4 years; and also trained with Patrik Kittel (Swedish Olympian), Helen Langehanenberg (German Olympian), Christoph Koschel (German WEG representative) and Alexander Ayache (French WEG representative).

With her Grand Prix horse La Scala, Briana was successful in events up the CDI5* level.  They won and placed at the World Dressage Masters Tour throughout Europe and was shortlisted for the WEG Australian Team in Normandy.  

Briana placed in the top 10 at the German Championships Nürnberg Burg Pokal qualification and, with her horse Sissi, was longlisted for the WEG 2017 in Tyron.

Since her return to Australia, Briana has been in high demand and committed to a punishing schedule of clinics and private coaching along the East coast from Tasmania to Queensland, sharing the knowledge acquired from her training in Germany and the USA. 

For the last year my focus has been on coaching in Australia.  During 2020 I will be spending time in both Australia and France with coaching stints in the USA.  We have some exciting developments coming up this year in terms of coaching, training and sales horses in both Australia and Europe” said Briana.

Information on Briana Burgess’ upcoming clinics and private coaching availability is at

The Sydney CDI Young Horse Championships format features competitions for 4, 5, 6, and 7 year old horses.  The top 10 horses from the first round with scores of 65% or more go forward to a second round.  The winner and runner up in each age group go through to the final round with Briana riding all horses and providing commentary after each ride.  Briana’s scores along with the Judges marks will determine a winner in each age group. 

True to her career influencers, here’s what the Young Horse Guest Rider will be looking for in the combinations presented:

‘I am excited to have been invited to be this year’s guest rider at one of Australian’s most prestigious events of the year, the Sydney CDI!  As guest rider the focus will be on combinations who present themselves to a high standard in accordance to the German training scale, taking into consideration each horses individual physical and mental development’, said Briana.

We are pleased to bring you such an outstanding Australian Young Horse Guest Rider for this year’s Sydney CDI 2020, and to welcome Briana Burgess back to her homeland for this event. 

Tickets for the event have already gone on sale, and seats for the ever-popular Saturday evening Grand Prix Freestyle to Music are selling out fast.  For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit the event website at:

Tracey Mahony (Media Coordinator, Sydney CDI 2020) 

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