Massive numbers at the Horseland Armidale dressage championships

The Horseland Armidale dressage championships proved popular with entries requiring four arenas to be set up to cater for the large numbers.

From 8am until 4pm the dressage arenas were filled with competitors from all around the region in the lower preparatory levels through to the international standard FEI tests. 

With more than 150 tests scheduled, competitive spirits were high with riders and horses putting their best foot forward for the prize packs on offer. 

Armidale Riding Club hosted the competition and president Kerry Crees the interest in the sport is growing which was evident with the overwhelming number of entrants on Sunday. 

“It was great to see so many competitors in the high levels,” she said. 

“It was very, very good because it started at prep level all the way up to Inter I. It was lovely to put up a fourth arena because there was so many entries and we couldn't fit them all in the three arenas in one day.

It was very, very good because it started at prep level all the way up to Inter I. It was lovely to put up a fourth arena because there was so many entries and we couldn't fit them all in the three arenas in one day. - Kerry Crees.

“It was lovely to see the horse floats were all the way down to the end of the paddock.”

The weather gods were in their usual Armidale form, producing four seasons in one day, but it didn’t deter most of the participants. 

“There are always a few scratchings but there wasn't an exceptionally large amount,” Crees said. 

“We always have them in winter when the weather isn't conducive, Armidale put on four seasons in one day.

“It was good weather to ride in the majority of the time, there was only one real shower.” 

Children as young as five on their ponies through to seasoned riders took part to make the day a friendly atmosphere. 

Crees said there were nothing but positive comments about the day’s activities. 

“People were happy and seemed to be enjoying themselves and enjoying the competition,” she said. 

“I have heard pretty positive feedback from the day which was lovely to hear.

“For me it seemed to run very well and we were very happy with the outcome for the day.” 

Champions on  the day were: preliminary- Mariette Van den berg, novice- Holly Sozou, elementary- Kerry Crees, medium- Louise Allen, advanced- Mandy Sozou and FEI-Jill Wagner. 

The club will be hosting a training day on June 11.

The club will host another competition in July for their annual Pink Ribbon Day. 

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