The Grand Prix Kur which took place on Saturday 19th March 2011 was a great finale to four days of superb competition at Boneo Park - a spectacular facility that is sure to make a change to many of our top competitions in the future. The best Australian FEI horses are beginning their campaign for the London Olympic Games in 18 months time and the riders are keen to show their talent and go on to prove consistency in their lead up to this event. The Boneo Park CDI 3 Star claimed two “firsts” … the first Australian based Olympic Qualifier and the first CDI 3 Star for the spectacular Boneo Park Equestrian Centre in Victoria, Australia.
Queensland rider Chantal Wigan took the honours in all three Grand Prix classes and put the Australian Selector’s on notice that she has London 2012 in her sights. Chantal returned to Australia in 2010 from a successful European campaign with her horse Ferero (by the Sydney Olympic horse Olympic Ferro who was ridden by Coby Van Balen for the Netherlands) and has been disappointed that her World ranking and Australian performances seem to have been overlooked when it comes to convincing our Selectors that she is worthy of inclusion on the Australian Elite Dressage Squad – I am sure the results at Boneo Park will see this situation rectified!
Chantal chose music which well suits the power and strength of her horse and the beat nicely punctuated Fererro’s talent in the piaffe/passage tour. There were no mistakes and a clean polished test earned them a very good score of 70.975%.
Gitte Donvig decided to allow Port Said 10 to show more by putting aside conservative riding. This new strategy paid off with a super confident test full of harmonious highlights that were creatively augmented by her Harry Potter music. The pair finished in second placeon 69.975%, just 1% behind the leaders.
Fiona McNaught who managed to be the perfect hostess and also ride beautifully, put in a fantastic test on the imposing Ostra. Fiona also chose the catchy tunes from Harry Potter, but a different arrangement ... which was nicely selected to lift the highlights of her horse’s test. 67.125% so early in their time together, was a fantastic result and shows that Fiona is pretty serious about a trip to London in 18 months time.
I caught up with Susie Hoevenaars and Ricky McMillan after the class and they were both very pleased with the standard and said that the horses all went very well and the perfect surface at Boneo Park gave them the best opportunity to show their best.
Go to www.equi-score.de/index.php?mod=mod_boneocdi2011 for full results.