NEWS > Dressage
Posted by Toni Venhaus on 16/02/2018.
anessa Way competes on KH Arvan in the Grand Prix at a previous Sydney CDI
Franz Venahus

New Zealand's best is guest rider at 2018 OTTO SPORT AUSTRALIA Sydney CDI

One of New Zealand's premier equestriennes will put Australia's top young horses through their paces at the nation's premier international dressage event, The OTTO SPORT AUSTRALIA Sydney CDI, from May 2 to 5.

Vanessa Way has spent the past two decades riding, competing and training at the highest levels to cement her place among the most noted international dressage riders New Zealand has ever produced.

A three-time veteran competitor of the Sydney CDI herself, Vanessa will travel to this year's event to showcase some of Australia's most exciting up-and-coming young dressage horses as guest rider.

The role will see Vanessa ride the top three finalists in the four - five- and six- year-old competitions in the newly-resurfaced indoor arena of Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SIEC), providing commentary on her experience for spectators and judges.

The Hanoverian Horse Society of Australia’s  Young Horse Champions in each age group will be decided by the results from the expert panel of judges and Vanessa’s assessment .

Vanessa has taken out many prestigious titles in her home country, including New Zealand Horse of the Year twice at Grand Prix level as well as New Zealand National Grand Prix. Internationally, she has competed in Australia, the United Kingdom and France, and obtained qualifying scores for the 2012 Olympics and 2014 World Equestrian Games. She also attained pre-selection scores for Rio, and was selected for the NZEF High Performance Squad (Carded athlete).

But success is what you make it, and Vanessa admitted identifying the world's top dressage riders and trainers and “stalking them relentlessly” until they agreed to train her in order to get to the elite level of the sport.

“Over the years these have included Michael Putz, Harry Boldt, Charlotte Dujardin, and Carl Hester,” she said. 

“I've been friends and trained with Carl since 2008, and was based with him in 2012

with KH Arvan during their Olympic campaign. I've competed Carl’s young horses and

also competed his Don Archie at Prix St Georges/Intermediate 1 Internationally for him.  I return annually to train and compete Carl’s horses.” 

Individual and Team Olympic Gold Medallist and World record holder Dujardin also hosts clinics at Vanessa’s New Plymouth, NZ, property.  

Vanessa is currently the only coach to be named a New Zealand Qualified Elite High Performance International Coach, and has coached Australian eventing team members as well

as the United Kingdom at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Kentucky World Games, where members brought home team Bronze. 

She has has trained and developed all of her own horses to international level.

The 2018 OTTO SPORT AUSTRALIA Sydney CDI will be held at SIEC from May 2 to 5, and is an Equestrian Australia Nomination Event for the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

In addition to the young horse events, this year will feature competitions spanning levels from Advanced to Grand Prix and Para Equestrian attracting top riders from around Australia.

Included in the line-up are CDI 3*, CDI-U25 (for riders under 25 competing at Grand Prix level), CDI-Y for Young Riders 16 to 21 years, CDI-P (International Pony) for riders aged 12-16 years and for the first time, a CDI-J for Junior riders aged between 14 and 18 years.

Tickets for the event have already gone on sale, and seats for the ever-popular Saturday evening Grand Prix Freestyle to Music event are selling out fast.

For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit the event website at

#sydneycdi18 #ridewithus



Toni Venhaus – [email protected]

Krystyna Pollard – [email protected]

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