Excitement for equestrian events

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Jenne BrammerCountryman
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Dressage competitor and coach Victoria Hamilton with Danzio-VH.
Camera IconDressage competitor and coach Victoria Hamilton with Danzio-VH. Credit: Michael Wilson

The new equestrian exhibit proved a major highlight at last week’s Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days.

The exhibit was introduced for the first time this year after past feedback surveys from the Dowerin Field Days indicated visitors wanted to see more equestrian-focussed displays. It is expected a large part of the equestrian community who don’t normally attend the Dowerin Field Days made the journey this year, boosting already-healthy numbers at the gates.

As part of the equestrian exhibit, veterinarian and elite dressage coach and competitor Victoria Hamilton hosted a dressage masterclass, as well as conducting separate sessions on inhand training, developing the equine athlete and practical first aid for horses.

Within the dressage masterclass she showcased the different stages of training, from the earliest to the highest expression of dressage, in order to appeal to all levels of interest.

She said the final part of the dressage master class, where her horse Danzio - VH moved to the beat of music, proved a real crowd pleaser.

“We played a range of fun pieces ranging from the Beatles and musicals including Annie and Oliver, to the more classical pieces. My horse was moving to the beat, essentially dancing to the music. As soon as the crowds heard the music they started to move in and see what it was all about,” she said.

“The grandstand was not full at the start of my masterclass but it was by the end. It was a fantastic response with plenty of people of all ages clapping along.”

Dr Hamilton, who is based in Sawyers Valley and has represented Australia at the 2001 World Dressage Challenge Final in Germany (placed second), said she was approached by the Field Days Committee after becoming known by local dressage enthusiasts, including the Dowerin events coordinator Jenna Santos and former Dowerin Shire Councillor Shannon Brookes.

She plans to be back at the Dowerin Field Days next year and said the dressage events could be hosted on both days from next year.

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