Saddleworld Australian Dressage Championships 2013

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If you were lucky enough to attend the 2013 Saddleworld Australian Dressage Championships, then you were certainly entertained by the incredible skill and horsemanship of some of the top dressage horses and riders in the world. An annual event, the Australian Dressage Championships were not a competition you would want to miss! Held at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre from 23 to 27 October 2013, the 2013 Saddleworld Australian Dressage Championships offered dressage competitions over the course of four and a half days. The indoor arena provided competitors and spectators with shelter and comfort from the high heat, while outdoor arenas provided a picturesque background for some of the competitions. Despite the warm weather, attendance at the Australian Dressage Championships was strong. More than 400 people attended on Thursday, with 600 going on Friday, 1,030 on Saturday, and 500 on Sunday. The total attendance for the event was at 2,630, which is to be expected – there were some phenomenal horses and riders who were competing!

This year, approximately 180 Australian riders entered 275 dressage horses in the Australian Dressage Championships; this is the highest number of entries that the Australian Dressage Championships have had yet. Because the number of competitors per event is limited, not all of those riders who entered were able to compete. This made for tough competition, and riders and horses came from great distances – the Australian Dressage Championships received entries from all states excepting Tasmania. With top riders and horses come top judges. One FEI 5* Olympic-level judge, Colonel Axel Steiner, accompanied FEI-accredited judges Tina Farkkolainen and Lorraine MacDonald. Susan Hoevenaars, Virginia Creed, Ricky MacMillian, Gisela Nillson-Harding, and Maria Schwennesen also judged the event and were joined by eighteen national Australian judges. Additionally, the 2013 Saddleworld Australian Dressage Championships included a Para-Equestrian competition. According to the Saddleworld Event Report, it is likely that the Para-Equestrian division will be included in the Australian Dressage Championships again in the future. And if the competition itself weren’t enough for you, the Australian Dressage Championships also boasted a sizable trade show. Thirty-four equine companies exhibited at the show.

If you’re looking for a way to get involved in the Australian Dressage Championships next year, consider volunteering. The Australian Dressage Championships rely heavily on volunteers to keep the event running smoothly, and this year over 80 volunteers attended and facilitated the Championships each day. Volunteer jobs include tasks such as scoring, office administration, writing for the judges, and even working in the stable areas themselves. The 2013 Saddleworld Australian Dressage Championships would not have been possible were it not for the event’s sponsors and partners. Saddleworld was the event’s major sponsor. Principal partners included Equestrian Australia, Equestrian NSW, and the Australian Sports Commission. TopHorse was proud to be one of twelve sponsors for the 2013 Saddleworld Australian Dressage Championships. The Saddleworld Dressage Championships are a central part of Australian equine competition. The chance to see top dressage horses and riders, paired with the Para-Equestrian division and the trade show, is one which is unrivaled in Australia. If you didn’t make it to the 2013 Saddleworld Dressage Championships this year, then make sure that the event is on your calendar for 2014! TOPHORSE–browse horses for sale or place an ad to sell horses.

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