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Victorian Dressage Club Inter-Club Teams Challenge 2023

Victorian Dressage Club Inter-Club Teams Challenge was held at WEC on Sunday Sept 3, 2023.

This year’s theme was The Coronation. Once again Joe Argento had been busy with his welder and brought along some magnificent coronation themed decorations. The table was decorated ready for a high tea suitable for any royal occasion. Unfortunately, there were no wins for the table, or the Inter-club challenge this year.

Thank you to the riders representing WVDC who came away in 6th place.

Anne Henry riding: Ferric Oxide
Paris Fielder riding: Talingka Park Matthais

Liddy Sheather riding: Habafield Jamaica
Kerrie-Anne Evans riding: My Pure Obsession

Rebecca Kent riding: Sammy D Jnr
Rose Amezdroz riding: Sterling Arche

2023 WVDC Horse of the Year Award

WVDC held their Horse of the Year Presentation Night at Elcho Park, Lara on Thursday August 24th .
The awards were presented by Pam Edwards, Deb Hamid and Kevin Hitchins and Joe Argento.

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2023 Horse of the Year award:

Medium – Mayfield Azure Rider: Eliza Bell (Judy Rees Trophy)
Elementary – My Pure Obsession Rider: Kerri-Anne Evans
Novice - Tarburra Whisper Rider: Terry Cleland
Preliminary - All About Jazz Rider: Heather Bowers

2023 WVDC Horse of the Year Award

WVDC held their Horse of the Year Presentation Night at Elcho Park, Lara on Thursday August 24th .
The awards were presented by Pam Edwards, Deb Hamid and Kevin Hitchins and Joe Argento.

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2023 Horse of the Year award:

Medium – Mayfield Azure Rider: Eliza Bell (Judy Rees Trophy)
Elementary – My Pure Obsession Rider: Kerri-Anne Evans
Novice - Tarburra Whisper Rider: Terry Cleland
Preliminary - All About Jazz Rider: Heather Bowers

Victorian Dressage Club – Inter Club Teams Challenge 2022

Victorian Dressage Club – Inter Club Teams Challenge was held on Sunday September 4, 2022.


It was a day of decorated tables to the theme of Winter Wonderland, WVDC area included a magnificent sleigh made of welded horseshoes. The sleigh was made by our own Joe Argento. While we didn’t come away with the win in the decorated table competition WVDC did win the Challenge.


Congratulations to Kerri-Anne Evans, Charlotte Gibbons, Katrina Bolmat, Anne Henry, Ebony Porter & Sally Stagg.

Victorian Dressage Club – Inter Club Teams Challenge 2022
2022 Horse of The Year Awards

WVDC held their Horse of the Year Presentation Night at Elcho Park, Lara, on Wednesday August 24th.


The awards were presented by Pam Edwards, Deb Hamid and Kevin Hitchins.


Congratulations to the following winners of the 2022 Horse of the Year award:


Prelim: Heather Bowers & Jimmy Boy presented by Pam Edwards


Novice: Equal - Rose Amezdroz & Sterling Archer presented by Deb Hamid


Novice: Equal - Kerri Anne Evans & My Pure Obsession presented by Kevin Hitchins

Elementary: Anne Henry & Ferric Oxide presented later by Joe Argento

Medium: Ebony Porter & Ulrik RS Fan Top En Twel presented by Kevin Hitchins 

Advance, Small Tour & Large Tour awards were not presented this year.

2022 Horse of The Year winners
Vale Margret McIvor

Last week, 21 July 2020, we lost a wonderful horsewoman, Margret was 86 years old.

A judge, mentor, teacher and friend to many, but especially here in Western Victoria.

Marg was first involved in show jumping and eventing. Some of our older members will remember her horse “Pyewacket”, placing second in the open at Melbourne 3 Day event in the 70’s.


Marg then was a trailblazer in the dressage with the big horse “CK” (named after the breeder Colin Kelly). She was our first representative at the summer Olympics in Los Angeles 1984.


In a bid to qualify for the Olympics, Margret, who was largely self- taught, travelled to Europe in the early 1980’s leaving her husband Ken and children for six months.


In May 2007 Marg was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Ballarat in recognition of her contribution to dressage in Australia.

She is an honorary life member of Equestrian Australia.


So we, as members and friends of Western Victorian Dressage Club say goodbye to our esteemed judge and offer sincere condolences to her sons Ken (Charlie) and wife Jan and son Sam, wife Jane and their extended families.

2019 Horse of the Year winners
2018 Horse of The Year winners
EV Dressage Championships at Elcho Park Equestrian Centre 2018
2017 Horse of The Year winners and WVDC AGM

WVDC Horse of the Year 2017 Winners

and Amanda Hamill who received her mother Judy Fraser-Rees posthumous Life Membership

Guests enjoying the WVDC AGM and awards

WVDC table at the VDC Interclub Challenge 2017

Guest speakers at AGM Fiona Baxter - CEO of Equestrian Victoria and Karen O'Keefe from Landcare with WVDC new Secretary Sharon Guy

VDC Teams Challenge 2015 - WVDC 2nd Place for Teams and Table !

WVDC placed 2nd in the VDC Dressage Teams challenge event on Sunday 26 July 2015.


A huge thankyou to riders who braved the wintery weather.

WVDC also placed 2nd  in the best decorated table - theme ‘the circus’

Precision mechanics from Joe Argentoand wonderful decorations by the Anderson girls.

More pics on the Gallery page and Team results on the Results page.

WVDC Ballarat Dressage Festival 2015

Hi everyone ,                    


Phew, another comp done n dusted....and  the gods looked after us (well John &  Joe) because there was NO DUST!

Thank you all who helped make a very memorable day for the competitors.

I have now lost count of the emails, txts and facebook messages of thanks from them for a really great comp.


Firstly to our wonderful sponsors, your generosity & commitment to the W.V.D.C. and the sport of dressage is truly appreciated.  

Hewitt & Whitty, (farm, rural & feed ) 

Ballarat Veterinary Practice (MRI facilities)

Horseland Ballarat, (we hope your stand was busy) 

Saddleworld Ballarat,

Formosa Gardens Nursery.    

Even the older adults loved receiving a rider bag, packed full of goodies.


Maxene & Joe put those letters out, AND in - Maxene & Joe gear checked all day too....

Marianne gathered up the pencillers, found more, and wrestled with the freestyle music machine.

Thanks to these pencillers: Marianne, Gwen, Caroline, Corrine, Emily, Susan Ryan.

And especially to Ian Milne, Yvonne Mc Donald, Marg Battye, Lisa Ashmore, Sherryn Smith, Kim Holmes & Monica Heim who offered their help.

Sheet runners Helen Mc D, Joanna, Viv Tipping , Sue Titcomb, and Anne Henry thank you,  & hope you had a rest on Sunday...            

Fiona Anderson and her girls sorted the rider bags days before the event…

Sue introduced, and thanked our judges on the morning but thanks again for your commitment to our club.

Roger Fitzhardinge from Sydney, Jane Ventura our “own” 4 star international, Lou D’Elia,

Jennifer Holmes, Judy Quinn, Sheryl Green, Glen Gault, Jill Suban, Annalise Larin, and Belinda Dawkins.

Belinda, a special thanks for the draw, and for hosting Roger as well.

Judy Peel (bless her cotton sox) stepped in and judged the 5.1 as well as riding,  elegantly as  usual, in her own tests earlier.

Ashley Gray was so quietly efficient at the desk & helping in all directions, a special thanks to her, as she is new to our committee.

John & Joe are the Mr. fixits, John actually raked the arena 5 edges in by hand early Sat am,

and Joe hauled his tractor in to the work bee & scratched up those crusty sand arenas 2,3 &4.


Coral & Carolyn Taylor helped John with those presentations and in between John & Joe cooked the snags,(is there no end to their talents)??

So there were rosettes, vouchers,envelopes with cash and bags of feed being distributed to very appreciative competitors.


Angela Carter from Horsham and Ashley were at the work bee on Friday also.

Karen & Courtney helped put stuff away at the end, even though Karen was exhausted from carrying her trophies to the car!

Can I say the committee members who rode had an outstanding success rate? (Karen, Sue, Joanna).


Thanks Angela, and Carolyn T for the slices/desserts you made for our judges.

Melissa Doodt again provided a wonderful spread of food for the judges which, I think, is why they say yes to W.V.D.C. Ballarat judging requests. (I believe, Judges that she is to cater in May)....start dieting!!

 Sue’s new best friends, Michelle and Amy of thanks for tidying up the entries, & the refunds etc…

Chris & Laura of the ever efficient equiscore system give us wonderful service.

Adam Fawcett came from Warragul to take photos & cover the event, see ozdressage .com  and  Travis took videos.

I must also mention the Ballarat pony club, Judy Croagh who had the new sand spread in time on the warm up, had arenas 1 & 5 smudged & cordoned off , and Deb Bain who answers all of our questions within minutes!


Roger gave seven of us at his clinic on the Sunday a definite opinion of our horses outline and firm encouragement to improve our position and the application and timing of aids. We all watched a collection of really lovely horses.


To those of you who would like to do all again on May 16 and July 4 at Elcho park Lara, please contact our  President Coral Byrne:


Cheers,  Sue Nevett




V.D.C. Inter clubs Team Challenge Competition - The theme: “Gay Paris”

Sunday July 27, a great day on the dressage Vic. calendar.

Our team was:  Janelle Miller & Karen Blythe in Nov.

                             Riannon Pettigrove & Holly Hornsby in Elem.

                             Judy Peel & Fiona Anderson in Med.

The girls came third! ( out of 7 teams). See the placings / scores in results.

Commiserations to Joanna Muir, who made the journey from Moriac, only to have a pulled shoe. But Karen happened to be there with the young “Pumpkin”, she stepped in…..& won the class! 

Janelle, returning from injury, replaced Virginia Martin & rode a great test.

Thanks to Marianne Crawford for organising the teams.

We won the best table/display!!  Joe Argento, our president, worked all week to construct a huge Eiffel tower from horseshoes, so our booth stood out somewhat!

The other decorated tables from Berwick, VDC, Westernport clubs were beautifully detailed too.  Thanks Sally Frost for the yummy French food (note the pic. of profiterole eating)!

A big thank you to riders, including Joanne & Virginia, & to our supporters & decorators (Sue, Jen, Maxene) who turned up.

We presented Judy with the HOTY Medium horse trophy as she is unable to come to the AGM. The weather was sunny, & a lot warmer than the Ballarat districts, so members, keep an eye on the calendar for 2015 & join in next year.


by Roger Fitzhardinge for Equestrian Life 

The Western Victorian Dressage Club ran the Hewtitt and Whitty CRT Ballarat Dressage Festival in the spacious Victoria Park. This wonderful venue was well prepared despite the drought like conditions, with the arenas well watered and much effort put in to decorating with flowers and plants. The day saw good entries in all classes from Preliminary to Grand Prix, along with Freestyles at all levels and the competition at the top end of the classes producing some complimentary scores.

The highlight of the day was Hagen Park’s Kylie Riddel, who rode a great Grand Prix test on Clive to gain a 65% and a 68% from the two judges, Clive took it all in his stride and performed like Ballarat was a mini Olympics! Some well deserved and seriously high marks in the passage piaffe, would have had them on a higher score, however a mistake in the two tempis and a lack of balance in the first extended trot lost some important marks. The new combination looked at home making the test appear easy, and that's what dressage is all about. In the Freestyle they finished on 66.5% and were infront of Marianne Crawford and Jaybee Bellair.  Marrianne also rode two good tests but for some mistakes in the piaffe which is where the coefficients are now counted.

Preliminary Champion went to Nina Loyd and Ballahowe Fortuna a good moving bay gelding with a strong top line and good canter. Runner up to Flowervale Sandeka and Joy Endresz.

The Novice tests were hotly contested and the eventual Champion was The All Black for Hillary McGregor-Potter with a 69% and 71%. Joanna Muir was runner up of the seventeen entrants. Her horse Napoleon Jack, an attractive dappled grey gelding produced a very consistent test with a steady outline and tempo.

The Elementary was also a strongly contested class with the Champion here to a very attractive bright bay gelding, Withered Wings. This gelding showed good rhythm and   trainability. There is no question that in time this horse is going to develop well. His rider Holly Hormsby showed a great style and position and the overall picture looked great. The runner up Remi Faberge and Erica Henderson. This horse is a bright and energetic liver chestnut with a very round outline and expressive paces. Perhaps a little tension caused the loss of a few marks, but this horse is looking good for the next levels.

The Medium champion was the impressive brown horse Hit Singer and Judy Peel, Hit Singer is developing such an uphill way, unfortunately in the test there were problems with a few late changes and that was where the marks were lost for sure. He will get confirmed here without any problems in very near future and instantly more marks easily.

The sponsorship for this was fantastic with over $2000 cash being divided amongst the winners and an embroidered woolen rug for the Championship classes. Ballarat Veterinary Practice was also a major sponsor along with Hewitt and Whitty CRT who supplied bags of feed to the place getters. Simplex Insurance Solutions, Formosa Nursery as well as Horseland and Equissage were also generous in their sponsorship.

The Advanced Champion went to Emilly O’Connell and Moonlight Park Foxtrot, just in front of Waterfords Tiffany, a bay mare bred in WA by Hannie Byrnes and ridden and trained by Dianne Humm. Both horses scoring in the low to mid 70% and handing in consistent work.

Onto the Prix St George and it was a win to the flamboyant mover in Knotuk Wilson ridden by Jason James. For Jason, who deserved the win, I am sure he could well be questioning things given there was nearly a 7% difference in his scores. But, it's called dressage and in Victoria with a large discrepancy like this, there is a form that the judges after viewing the papers and discussing the horse and the marks, fill out with an ordered reason why they saw the differences. This is an excellent idea and an initiative, which is positive in making the sport more and more transparent. It only takes 0.5 in each movement to come to his percentage difference. It's not so hard to do if one judge perhaps sees a horse not forward and the other thinks it is, or one judge doesn't like the contact and frame and the other does. It happens, and after discussing it's easy to come to an agreement and I think that the overall score of the 66.9% would have been a very acceptable outcome. This horse has plenty of expression in the trot work with an arched and raised neck. The canter work at times could show more jump and hind leg as well as in the changes. There is no doubt nor question that this horse is improving at every outing and that's what is good to see. It will be interesting to watch this horse on his journey to Grand Prix and he surely has the look factor.

Second to Clifton Court Laurenz for Sue Nevett. This lovely scopey big brown gelding showed some fabulous parts but again a lack of consistency staying shoulders up and in front of the leg took away a few marks. With this came a few moments of a little behind the vertical and for sure that lost a few more marks, but all the same it was a creditable test and a mark of 64.88% showing the quality of the work. Belcam Cadel for Bianca Barnes was 3rd and again a super uphill grey horse also very well ridden but a few too many overly expressive changes! It always goes to show that a correct test with no mistakes is first and foremost when it comes to winning at this level. Too much expression and a few mistakes in tempo and balance and hey presto a few 4s (especially on coefficient movements) and down the list you go. But no one can deny dressage is a tough sport and mentally challenging.

In the Inter I there was only the one starter in Belcam Cadel for Bianca Barnes and a score of 65.8% was certainly well deserved. This horse made a few costly mistakes in the flying changes and a few rhythm lapses, so in turn lost important marks. This upstanding grey certainly has the consistency in the outline and Bianca does a great job and has a super elegant and effective position.

The Ballarat Dressage Festival was a great competition; a great venue and a progressive committee who made it work. The arenas and the ambience, the friendliness and thanks to the sponsors that really attracted a lot of interest and competitors to this prestigious event, the ease of the competition was delightful.

2013 Awards and AGM  -  Horse of the Year Awards

2013 Horse of the Year Award Winners



JB Bellaire Amanda - Marianne Crawford - 6 points



CC Laurenz - Sue Nevett -20 points



RP Heartbeat - Kate Frost -24 points



Hit Singer - Judy Peel -  28 points



Ottawa - Emma Alexander -33 points



Baxter -  Lyn Coates - 40 points



Eskimo Joe - Janelle Miller - 23 points

Evening with Mary Hannah









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