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NEWS > Dressage
Posted by Sydney CDI on 20/03/2015.

Top riders share thoughts on upcoming Sydney CDI

Some of the nation’s elite dressage riders have shared their views on the direction of the sport in Australia in a new series of videos published ahead of the Sydney CDI 3* in May.

Olympian and World Equestrian Games (WEG) competitor Rachael Downs, fellow WEG team member Brett Parbery, 2014 Equestrian NSW Dressage Athlete of the Year Judy Dierks, as well as other big names including Matthew Dowsley, Lisa Martin, and up-and-coming young rider, Charlotte Craig, all agreed dressage was on the up-and-up in Australia in the new videos, published on the Sydney CDI YouTube channel.

The Sydney CDI 3* dressage event will be held at the Sydney 2000 Olympic venue at Horsley Park from May 7 to 9, attracting the best riders from across Australia and overseas.

“I’ve been in the sport now 17 years and I’ve seen it really grow and the Sydney CDI has contributed to that in a big way,” Brett says in his video, shot at the Dressage NSW March event.

“It was always the marquee event for us, it’s when the international judges come out, they give us good feedback, and we work on it.”

Brett, from the NSW Southern Highlands, will compete five horses at the event, including his “number one” Grand Prix horse, DP Weltmieser.

Matthew Dowsley, based in the same region, will ride at least two horses at the Sydney CDI, and agreed with Brett’s sentiment on the sport.

“Just recently we’re hearing comments from international judges that the standard of riding is getting much better here in our country, so it’s always great to get to those big competitions like the CDI and be exposed to those judges and see how we stand compared to the overseas riders,” Matthew said.

Scone-based Lisa Martin, who campaigned seven-year-old mare First Famous at the March event to score an impressive 73.487% in the Prix St Georges, said dressage in Australia had grown at an “incredible” rate over the past 20 years.

Lisa said the future is an “open book” for her and her promising young mare.

 “Everyone’s dream is to go to the Olympics and represent their country, I try not think about that too much although we’ve dreamt about it ever since I was a child,” she said.

“But I think one step at a time.

“First Famous is only seven-years-old and maybe, with a little bit of luck and a little bit of help from family and friends, we could possibly go to Europe next year and do 12 months in Europe.”

Young rider Charlotte Craig hopes to compete at the Sydney CDI-Y following a successful outing with Dantroon at the Dressage With Altitude event at Orange in the NSW Central West in February.

 “I’ve only been competing Dan for the last four years, but I’ve noticed the young rider level has improved,” she said.

“Being at Bradgate Park at the CDI, the quality of the young riders there was phenomenal.

“I think the Sydney CDI is probably the biggest event in Australia … It’s been something I have been looking forward to for years to compete at.”

The Sydney CDI is one of the few events in Australia that features an international ground jury from Prix St George level right through to Grand Prix, and the feature event – Saturday night’s Grand Prix Freestyle to Music – is shaping up to be a sell-out yet again.

Tickets are available for the entire event or day tickets are on sale each day at the event entrance.  Local pony clubs and adult riding clubs are most welcome to enquire about group bookings.

Book online from the website to ensure a seat on Saturday, as a sell out crowd is expected.

VIP tickets are available daily, and on Saturday night tickets are available for the popular evening dinner where patrons get to watch the jumping and the Grand Prix Freestyle while enjoying a fantastic three course meal with Wild Oats wine.

An International workshop on the art of dressage freestyle to music will be presented by two of the international judges on Sunday, May 10 from 9.30am to 3.30pm, to which all are welcome to attend.

For more information about the event and ticketing visit the website, www.sydneycdi.com.

To subscribe to the Sydney CDI YouTube channel, click the highlighted link

To watch the riders speak about their CDI experience, please visit the following links (EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: Permission is given for these videos to be embedded on your website) –

Judy Dierks - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQjnzTy35QI

Matthew Dowsley - https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tb4uhtCqIXg

Lisa Martin - http://youtu.be/i1kSVM48-Ow


Krystyna Pollard – 0406 693 735

Toni Venhaus – 0418 686 781

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