NEWS > Dressage
Posted by Samantha Napier on 02/11/2017.
Stephanie Temple & Clearview Rosheem (Rose) at the Australian Dressage Championships (with a photobombing seagull!)

Stephanie Temple reports from the Australian Dressage Champs!

So it was a last minute decision… Originally I was going over to watch! Next thing I knew I was texting Mum to say I was going to ride. Knowing we were small fish in a big pond and not as ready as I would have liked, both the amazing location and having 2 competitions over 2 weekends at the same venue ticked some boxes. Overall, it was an amazing opportunity to experience new surroundings and continue to learn.

To start off, booking the float (our accommodation for the 13 days) onto the Spirit was not as easy as I first assumed. I had the float booked like a caravan (living space) instead of a trailer.. Lesson learned, book as a trailer for ventilated space!

Things were getting really real when the acceptance list came out! My mind was playing games with me. Was I ready for this? What was I doing? Organising what to take and what the horses were allowed to have while travelling stressed me out enough before I even started!  

Hayley and her amazing team at Tasmanian Horse Transport delivered Clearview Rosheem (Rose) to Boneo along with most of the other Tassie horses. Rose arrived looking fresh and alert, she just looked great! A real credit to the great work that Hayley and her team do on a daily basis with horses all over Australia. Mum, Koby and I were still making our way to the venue when the horses arrived as our GPS wanted to take us up every back road known to mankind!

The first day was getting our feet on the ground and setting up camp. The second day was going for a trail ride around the beautiful venue out the back. The third day was training time with Peter Fischer & Bert Gibson (and a huge thanks to Bert for organising who I can’t thank enough)!

Saturday was creeping up very fast with the Mitavite Amateur Owner Rider Championships and my first ride was in the indoor. Entry into the arena is from the side and it is quite a busy indoor with horse and people activity behind the walls banging and bashing (Side note: Rose is not the best in indoors...) I was so pleased with her in our test. Yes, there were hiccups but we all have those don’t we. Next ride was outside in the main arena where the trade stalls were. Again I was wrapped with her and how she handled the atmosphere. Riding again on Sunday went pretty much the same and over the weekend we placed a 5th and a 4th in the Medium AOR (the most expensive rosettes I own). Who would have thought!

Monday was a day of rest and I went to visit my old mount Treasure Hunt (Hunter) and his owner Louise at Werribee. Lydia Jackson helped me to find a home for him and Louise has still got him (he is very spoilt). I even got to have a ride! My heart.. well you know! Yes, another box ticked. I got talking to Charlotte Pederson at Boneo about Hunter and she mentioned he is a very fun ride and a good horse for Louise (Charlotte has been riding him and doing 1 x changes). Yes, another tick.

Just when we thought we'd seen the big rigs and some nice horses... Then came the Martin Collins Australian Dressage Championships… OMG! A different world. The horses that were coming off the trucks had Mum and I drooling! The competition started on the Wednesday and I was last to ride on the Sunday. I will admit, it was nice to watch my team mates and their horses go out and tick their own boxes and see their big smiles at their numerous achievements.

Sunday finally arrived and even though I thought I was calm and doing okay I was fair packing the nerves! Just looking at the list of names and riding alongside some of these people made my day. The weather was truly awful.. I was drenched to the bone and very cold. Our first test had some good moments and also some things to work on. Our second test featured an arena filled with seagulls and do you think they would move?! Jamie and Penelope reckon it was because they had pizza and were eating it alongside us. I did laugh. I came away with a list of things to work on and strengthen, but we did not look out of place and placed 26th out of 35 riders! This was where I was told I was going to be by my instructor (and I thought she was being very kind with that).

Straight after my second test we had to pack up and take Rose home with us due to changed circumstances with a team mate. Ellie and Mary were unplaiting Rose whilst we were packing up.! We got to the Spirit and everything was good... We were calmly sailing away and then at 12am an announcement came over the PA system that there had been a medical emergency and the boat would be returning to Port Melbourne. We had been sailing for 5hrs already and Rose had been in the float since 3pm! In the early hours of the morning I was very stressed and wondering how my beautiful girl was going after so long on the float. The wonderful staff allowed me to go down and see her and she was so glad to see me! I sponged her down (what a tough girl after being locked up for 22hrs straight on the float) and managed to get a few hours sleep after that.

What an experience for me. Never allow anyone to put self doubt into you. Follow YOUR dreams and YOUR boxes to tick. This was my journey to have and I am so glad I did it and it won’t be the last if the purse strings will allow. A big well done also to my fellow competitors.

There are so many people to thank! First of all Tasmanian Horse Transport (Hayley) for your sponsorship and the well-being of our 4 legged best friends. Sharni and Caitlin Radford for organising us and ensuring we were where we needed to be and when (both before the trip and even after the trip)! Peter and Ann-Katrin Fischer for the training and feel good moments. Bert for organising the lessons with Peter. The girls who we went away with and shared so many laughs with (Koby certainly got an education and loved every minute of it). Friends that we hope we will get more laughs out of. The support of the people that came across the water to watch the Nationals and those at home. The sponsors for the GO fund Me campaign. Dressage Tasmania and Equestrian Tasmania. Matthew (my partner) and Ethan (my younger son) for looking after the ponies and other animals and most of all my biggest supporter (Mum) for making the trip with me and Koby. I'm hoping to make you see what is out there in the love of horses and training! I am sorry if I have left anyone out!

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