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Motueka Dressage

Sometime back, Dressage was alive and well in Motueka and a very good artificial surface was put down at the A & P Showgrounds at Marchwood Park.

Dressage then moved to Nelson (Rough Island), but petrol and travel has got dearer and so four of us got together and decided to run dressage events here in Motueka in order to promote the sport to the Pony Club riders and provide a competition close to home. Camille Nelson, Jan Morice, Sue Clark and Karen Rhind are the main organisers of the series.

Competitors received certificates for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th placings and each rider received points in their grade on a scale of 1st to 10th. First place rider gained 10 points, and 10th was rewarded with one point. At the end of the series, prizes were awarded for the winner of each grade. Thanks to the sponsor for our Dressage Series - Bin Inn Motueka.

About dressage

Dressage competitions are held at all levels from amateur to the World Equestrian Games. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardised progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse.

At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, the horse will respond smoothly to a skilled rider's minimal aids. The rider will be relaxed and appear effort-free while the horse willingly performs the requested movement.

Dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet". In modern dressage competition, successful training at the various levels is demonstrated through the performance of "tests", prescribed series of movements ridden within a standard arena.

Judges evaluate each movement on the basis of an objective standard appropriate to the level of the test and assign each movement a score from 0 to 10 - 0 being "not executed" and 10 being "excellent". A score of 9 is very good and is a high mark, while a competitor achieving all 6s (or 60% overall) should be considering moving on to the next level.

Dressage Competition Series 2015

Competition dates for 2015 are as follows: Jan 25, Feb 15, Mar 29, Apr 26, May 31, Oct 25, Nov 29 and Dec 27.

February 7th event

Playing any sport on these hot days is difficult. Guiding a dressage horse around a 60m x 20m arena must rank quite high on the difficulty ranking ladder.

The Motueka Dressage group would like to extend huge thanks to the people who helped put up arenas on Saturday evening, our judges, writers, support crews and of course not forgetting the riders - everyone who helped make another successful dressage event!

Our next competition will be held on March 6th.

 **  Download the results list for the February 7th event here »

Isla Young (first photo, right) rode her pony Tara's Southern Belle in the training level and came away with 2nd place in the 0:B test and 1st place in the 0:C test. Isla is 6 years old and has only been riding independently for 4 months.

Lucy Young (left) rode her pony Punga Jess in the lead rein class winning both her tests. Lucy is 5 years old and loves riding her pony.

Both girls would like to thank their instructor, Rachel Thomas for all her help and also the Motueka Dressage group for the opportunity to compete locally and gain experience and confidence in a friendly and welcoming environment.

The second photo shows Emily Robert on Buckton Tumbledown (left), Isla Young on Tara's Southern Belle (centre), and Lucy on Punga Jess (right)

Next event

The next regular event will be held at Marchwood Park on Sunday 17th April.

 **  Download the Full draw for the event »

Charity event

Motueka Dressage and the Nelson Show Jumping Group are hosting a special charity event at Marchwood Park on Sunday May 1st, with all proceeds going to the wonderful fund raising drive to cover/heat the Motueka Pool.

Entry fee: $15.00. You may enter one dressage test only and 2 jumping classes only. All classes are non graded and non registered. Recycled ribbons to 4th place. This is a combined training event so first jump round counts along with the dressage score, a combined training, so first jump round counts along with their dressage score.

Entry forms can be downloaded here. Entries close 24th April

Thermal imaging for imaging diagnosis

Ever been frustrated at not being able to work out what is wrong with your horse/animal? You know they are not quite right but you can't pinpoint where the problem is? Been frustrated with saddle fitting?

There is a new service available in the Nelson/Marlborough/Golden Bay region, to help diagnose injuries in horses and other animals. Thermal Imaging South Island, based in Pigeon Valley near Wakefield is a new diagnostic tool to aid the health, happiness and performance of animals. Read all the details here »