Champion of Champions

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gitte was more successful in Werribee as she won the Champion of Champions for young horses showing Oldenburg bred approved stallion Shiraz Black (by Sandro Hit from Djemina by Donnerhall)
Australian’s most prestigious competition for future equine talent was held on the same weekend as the Melbourne Grand Prix.  All of the appreciative audience in attendance were more interested in horse power with 4 legs and beautiful movement. They all enjoyed every moment and marvelled at the improvement in our Australian horses since this competition was first conducted in 1998 with the inaugural guest riding judge, Anky van Grunsven. 

We have had many wonderful visiting judges and they have all added to our knowledge of bloodlines, temperament and trainability. This has helped Australian riders, their trainers and the breeders to lift our game to the high standard that was enjoyed at this event.

The Guest rider for this event was to be champion Reserve Member of the German Team at the Beijing Olympics, Monica Theodorescu, daughter of the late well respected trainer George. Unfortunately, after her Masterclass on Friday, Monica took ill and lost her voice.

However Dr Ulf Möller from PSI stepped in to ride and assess the three winners of the young Dressage horse classes.The spokesperson for the judging panel Susie Hoevenaars spoke in glowing terms as she announced the marks and collective comments from the judges. They awarded Shiraz Black 8 for Trot, 7.8 for the Walk, a massive 9 for the Canter, 7.8 was the mark for Submission and the General Impression score was 8.8.... Wow!

As mentioned  who is owned by her mum and dad Mary and Rob Hanna. Gitte has done a super job since she took over the ride just 6 weeks before the 2008 event to become the winner of the five year olds class than. She said she is very excited about her future with this talented young stallion, having the intention to train him all the way up to Grand Prix.
Gitte said, : After the 2008 competition, we qualified to take part in the World Championships for Young Horses, but mum and I felt that Shiraz Black was not ready for the overseas trip and all of the pressure of 'international competition'  at that point in his training.”

It is hoped now that Gitte and Shiraz Black will take part in the World Championships later this year in the beginninbg of August in Verden, Germany.  Shiraz Black is certainly up to the quality of the best in the world and is sure to impress an international crowd!

Read more results of CDI Werribee at

Shiraz Black impressed the judges and guest rider Dr Ulf Möller to become the winner of the 6 year olds and champion of champions showed by Gitte Donvig Picture Berni Saunders

Brett Parbery Takes It All

After the Equine Influenza outbreak which was over by mid-2008 and the terrible bushfires down under all Australian horse people are happy to be able to meet and compete. In Werribee they had their chance last week.

The tall Victory Salute represented Australia at the recent Beijing Paralympic Games ridden by Georgia Bruce. He is owned and bred by former FEI rider, coach and judge Carolyn Lieutenant. She has helped Brett Parbery and the horse to rise to such a great performance! In Werribee the pair won both classes Grand Prix and Freestyle to music.

Gitte Donvig rode Port Said of her mother Mary Hanna to expectations in Grand Prix. Mary was based in Germany two years ago for a while showing both Port Said and the intermediate horse Tango. Now daughter Gitte took over the ride of experienced Port Said. Mary has suffered from recurring back problems for many years and now is concentrating on managing and coaching both.

New Dressage Tests
From July 2009, Dressage competitors in Australia will be using the new tests approved by the FEI and used in the world starting January 2009. The Australian tests have been sourced from the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). We have re-named the tests to suit our system and have made some minor language edits, such as replacing ‘haunches’ with ‘hindquarters’ and ‘gaits’ with ‘paces’.

Time for Strategic Planning
With one quarter of 2009 and three quarters of the financial year already over, it is now reporting time for us to the Australian Sports Commission and to start work on the 2009-2013 Strategic Plan. To this end, the National Board conducted a planning session over the first weekend in March at its recent board meeting, so a start is made. The outcome of previous National Forums and meetings with Branch Chairs will play a role in the formulation of the plan, and Branch Managers will have a chance to review what is to be included when they meet at their next conference 20-21 April 2009.

The Global Financial Crisis and the delay in Government funding guarantees are adding uncertainty but we must not allow these things to stop us from planning our future. They just need to be factored in through options and contingencies.

Read more Australian equestrian news at