Australia’s top young dressage riders are currently aiming to qualify for the country’s most prestigious international dressage competition, the 2017 Sydney CDI***.
The focus has switched to the next generation of the nation’s dressage riders in the post-Olympic year, and Sydney CDI – taking place from April 27 to 29 at Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SIEC) – is the perfect platform to showcase our best young riders.
The program features a CDI-Y World Cup qualifier and the FEI Under-25 Grand Prix Tour, and will this year also feature a CDI-P pony competition for riders aged between 12 and 16 years.
Eighteen-year-old Mary Warren made history last year after becoming the youngest Australian rider to win a CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle at the 2016 Australian Dressage Championships with Mindarah Park Ramadan – the same week she sat Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams.
Warren will be looking to qualify “Rammy” for this year’s CDI, which she said took competition to the next level.
“I love the Sydney CDI. You enter SIEC and it’s just a whole new level,” she said.
“The competitiveness, the international feel. Everybody’s friendly because they’re there for the same reasons and they all understand your troubles and the highs and lows of dressage.”
Terrey Hills-based teenager Sydney Evans said she travelled all over the country to compete her stunning pony, Dara Park Tequila Sunrise, and her FEI stallion, Belcam Geldof, and Sydney CDI was her favourite.
“It’s the biggest one [show], the best one,” the 17-year-old said.
Seventeen-year-old Claudia Hobson has brought her stunning gelding, Romulus R, through the levels and is looking to compete at Prix St Georges by the end of this year.
“You think you’re going to go there and it’s going to be all Olympians and you’re not going to fit in at all, but you get there and it’s really chilled out,” she said.
“It’s kind of really exciting to be there.”
Dressage NSW President Helen Lawson said the young rider competition was getting hotter every year at the Sydney CDI.
“We have some exceptionally talented young dressage riders in this country and it’s wonderful to be able to offer them a program of top competition at a truly international event,” she said.
“We are looking at the next generation of riders following the Rio Olympics and ahead of the next one in Tokyo. Now is the time to give our young riders the experience of competing on the international stage.”
With more than $45,000 in prize money up for grabs, the event attracts the best of Australian dressage riders.
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