NEWS > Dressage
Posted by Samantha Napier on 13/12/2017.

Ellie Smith reports from the Australian Dressage Championships 2017

About 4 months before the Australian Dressage Championships, myself and Mum had a conversation with Bert Gibson and Peter Fischer about the possibility of taking Jagger to this event and we decided 'why not?'. The opportunity of having 2 competitions only a week apart made it a more inviting prospect.

The 9th October arrived and the lead up to this day had been massive, with not just getting Jagger organised but also sorting all the other animals at home as well. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a nervous wreck worrying about how Jagger would handle such a journey as Hobart was his biggest trip he’d been on! A few nervous tears were shed as Jagger was loaded on to the Tasmanian Horse Transport truck and so the journey began.

The following morning we made the very anxious trip to Boneo Park (a few red lights were ran to keep in our convoy). The horses were all unloaded and I was happy to see Jagger was looking great, eating, drinking and doing everything he should be. Actually he was extremely well behaved which is very abnormal for him, but we ran with it! 

The first competition was upon us very quickly and Jagger had handled the whole environment incredibly well. I could not have been happier with him! We had some good lessons with Peter Fischer leading up to this weekend and so I was very happy with him in his Novice tests. He handled the arenas and judges boxes like he’d been there before and had some promising comments from the judges. The Sunday was a little different and his behaviour in his two tests was not the Jagger we knew... On the Monday we knew why, he had a severe case of the sloppies! A big thanks to Cheryl Roberts and Mum (Mary) for cleaning the stable whilst I cleaned Jagger up and the vet was called. He was treated and all was good for the preparations for the big weekend.

Wow, what a week and weekend! This was when the big boys and girls started to roll in. It was nice to see some familiar Tassie faces arriving, in particular my Dad and brother. I have to admit I was feeling very intimidated, especially in the warm up arenas! Whilst there are arena etiquette rules, these seem to go out the door and I wasn’t really brave enough to break them but we survived and I was absolutely rapt with how Jagger behaved and was pleased with his overall placing, particularly in the Elementary.

This whole trip was such an incredible journey in my dressage career and one I’ll never forget. We had a fantastic bunch of Tassies and Sharni and Caitlin did an amazing job keeping us all organised. There were lots and lots of laughs and a few tears but we were all there for each other which was great. Would I do it again? Yes, in a heart beat. I think it is important that you go away on trips like this without huge expectations but knowing that you have done everything that you possibly could leading up to the event and being able to grow from the whole experience.

A huge thank you to Tasmanian Horse Transport for your fantastic sponsorship and taking such amazing care of my special cargo, he arrived home as well as he left! To all the other fantastic sponsors, events like this would not be possible without you. Thank you to Peter Fischer for your amazing coaching and Ann-Katrin for your magic fingers, Jagger loved his treatments.

Follow your dreams.

Thank you,
Ellie Smith and Berenburg Jagger

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