Horse power galore at State Dressage Championships

EIGHTY equestrian riders put their best hoof forward at the recent Equestrian Tasmania State Dressage Championships when they went head-to-head in the hopes of snagging a state title.

Held at the Tasmanian Equestrian Centre in Lauderdale, the volunteer-run event saw riders of all ages, levels and experience compete in 28 classes across eight levels, with each rider required to achieve two qualifying scores in their chosen level during the season.

Championship committee president Jennifer Hodder said the weekend event was the pinnacle for the sport in the state.

“In perfect weather conditions and a festive atmosphere, the riders put their horses through their paces in front of a selection of top judges from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania,” she said.

“Every level of dressage was catered for, from preliminary and grand prix to young horse classes and freestyles ridden to music.

“It was so exciting and humbling to have riders of all ages, levels and experience from all over the state competing together.”

There was an extra injection of horsepower at this year’s event when 25 mustangs joined the fun for the first time in the history of the sport.

“The atmosphere was enhanced with the arrival of members of the Mustang Car Club and the drivers were very generous with their time,” Ms Hodder said.

“The quality of horses and riders that were present over the weekend was a testament to the dedication to our sport that riders, coaches, organisers and volunteers contribute day in and day out.”

This year, the event attracted a record-number of sponsors, with leading brands and businesses from around the country contributing products and prizes for the Tasmanian riders.

For more information about the Equestrian Tasmania State Dressage Championships, visit www.tas.equestrian.org.au/dressage.

Caption: Michelle Milne riding Kooinda Saint. Photo credit: Melissa Lee Stone Photography.