20 Years of P.S.I. Dressage & Jumping with the Stars

PSI Dressage & Jumping with the Stars (DJWTS) hosted the Australian Young Dressage Horse Championships from 22-25 March in Werribee, alongside the Young Dressage Pony, Young Jumping Horse and Young Eventing Horse classes, and for the first time a Led Class event.

DJWTS always attracts a well-respected panel of judges, riders and four-legged stars and this year was no exception with an international ground jury and horses and riders from all corners of Australia in attendance.

International judges Francis Verbeek (NED), Henning Lehrmann (GER) and Helen Hughes-Keen (NZL) were assisted by their Australian colleagues Susie Hoevenaars, Maria Schwennesen, Jane Ventura, Ricky MacMillan, Helen Heagney and Connie Bookless.

German Nations Cup rider Franz Josef ‘Peppi’ Dahlmann headed the jumping judges panel alongside Michelle Lang-McMahon and David Quick from Australia. New Zealand Olympian Vaughn Jefferis judged the young eventing horses together with Rohan Luxmoore (AUS).


P.S.I. Australian Young Dressage Horse Championship

The 5-year old stallion, KWPN-bred Iresias L (Johnson/Ferro), ridden by Gina Montgomery and owned by Sarah Hanslow, won his age group and was also crowned Young Dressage Horse Champion of Champions 2018. The popular bay was a crowd favourite and managed to win the prestigious title back-to-back — a great achievement that has only been reached by two other horses in the 20-year history of the event (Donner Carina and Shiraz Black).

The 4-year-old class had two Champions on an equal score. There was the black stallion Aber Halo (Aber Hallo/Sir Donnerhall) ridden by Riley Alexander and owned and bred by the Farrell family. Interesting trivia fact, Aber Halo’s dam Sugarloaf Sirhara was the 2012 Young Dressage Horse Champion of Champions. The second winner was Yarramee Fonzie (Firestone/Polansky) ridden by Justine Greer and owned by Sharyn McCombe. 

Australian-bred Penny Hill Sophia (Sir Donnerhall/Weltruhm) ridden by Emma Hayward came home as the 6-year-old young horse champion. Breeder and owner Michelle James of Penny Hill Park in WA was delighted with the win, making the long trip to Victoria so worthwhile!

Ever consistent mare SPH Renaissance (Royal Hit/Clintino), ridden by Daniella Dierks and owned and bred by Andrea Beatty, won the inaugural 7-year-old class, placing ahead of the elegant P.S.I.-bred mare She’s Nice (San Amour/Akribori) and Elliot Patterson.

Up and coming German Grand Prix rider Frederic Wandres was the guest star this year and had his work cut out riding five champions. However, the  young man was very popular with the audience and showed great horsemanship riding the five young horses and showing off their potential. 


Young Dressage Pony Championship

The pony dressage events are growing in popularity and size year after year. This year’s field saw a combination of home-bred and international pony bloodlines compete, but the finalists were all of Palomino colour! German Riding Pony gelding Dynamik Great Expectations (Golden Rock/Don Philino) ridden by Sancha Butler won the 4-year-old division and the 2018 Pony Champion of Champions title. In the 5-year-old division Lisa Swan and Butterfly Farm Elle (Redgum James 007/Cherrington King Midas) were on top. Kristy Sparkes and the Welsh Pony Mithril Velocity (Bookra Sports Edition/Fairway Skyline) came first in the 6-year-old event. Victorian-based Grand Prix rider Maree Tomkinson was the test rider for the young dressage ponies.


Tomkinson Group Dressage CDI-W

Another show highlight was the Tomkinson Group DressageCDI-W, which was also the last opportunity for Australian-based riders to post a qualifying score for selection competitions for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon in September. Shannan Goodwin and Aristede (Aachimedes/Landa) posted a personal best score to win the Grand Prix on Friday, scoring 70.500 per cent for the win, their first Grand Prix score above 70 per cent and their second result in seeking to qualify for selection competitions for the Australian team.

Shannan and Aristede from NSW are only the fourth pair to to have logged at least two of three required qualifying scores of at least 68 per cent. The others being Mary Hanna, Brett Parbery and Kristy Oatley.

Alexis Hellyer and Bluefields Floreno (Florencio I/Roy Black) were second on Friday on 67.848 per cent but took out the Freestyle on Saturday night with 73.160 per cent. Judith Dierks on Diamond Star placed second on 72.725 per cent, Shannan Goodwin and Aristede completed the above 70 per cent rankings on a score of 72.725.