WEG 2018 Wrap-up

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by Brett in News & Updates
September 24, 2018

It’s hard to believe that WEG is over. As we reflect on the achievements of the Australian team (8th overall!), and our journey with Rabbit (resulting in 70.109% in the Grand Prix), we are overwhelmingly grateful for the support of so many people who play a key role in getting Rabbit and I to ‘enter at A’ with our best foot forward.

Photo: Equestrian Life/Cara Grimshaw

Rabbit’s breeders, owners and biggest supporters – Susie and Richard Duddy, Brian, Barbara & Judy Marheine have been long-time supporters of us and our business, and to have the opportunity to campaign a quality horse Internationally (and more than once!) is a privilege that we don’t take lightly. We hope Rabbit’s family have found enjoyment, satisfaction and thrill in following the career of their wonderful horse. The Australian dressage scene is indebted to families like these and we will be ever grateful for the opportunity to train and compete Rabbit.

Our staff back home who have fed, groomed, and cared-for Rabbit in sickness and health, on freezing mornings and sweltering summer days, we thank you! Helga, Maddie and Lillie take care of Rabbit’s everyday needs and have helped make him what he is.

Rabbit’s farrier Rodney Brazzill, Kim Frede, nutritionist Caroline Foote, and bodywork team Jeff Morrison, Kurt Gacke and Rebecca Booth are an A1 team who share our passion to strive for excellence, as do our vets James Whitfield, Mike O’Brien and David Garth.

Without a regular trainer, I can feel quite isolated working my horses, but I am lucky and thankful to have Ricky McMillan and Dave McKinnon as my all-important eyes on ground and sounding boards.

Also at home our fantastic Dressage NSW provided financial support for which we are grateful.

Over in the States, we fell on our feet at the fantastic Australian Equine Performance Center in Midway Kentucky. Dan and Elisabeth James, along with their team, went out of their way to provide for us, make room for us and support us. Their hospitality was next-level and especially considering they were dealing with their own journey to WEG, we’re in awe of their attitude and inclusiveness. We even managed to get a viral social media video done there!

My American family Tim and Annette Grahl at Scottswood B&B were a joy to return to every day and their ongoing support continues to boost me. I will miss our morning world problem solving discussions and every time I light a candle I will think of you both.

Our US farrier Vern Dryden of Bur Oak and massage therapist Greg Gage of Therasage EMC rounded out an awesome support crew and made sure we were in great shape going into the show.

In Tryon, our Australian dressage team Chef d’Equipe – Deb McNicol, you are amazing! Plus High Performance Team Chris Webb, Nathan Anthony, Robin Bell, KP Neuberg and Sandy Parker were a professional and formidable team to have behind us all.

What can we say about the team of supporters from Australia who made the long journey and sat through the elements to support us, except WOW! We’re constantly amazed by the support the Australian dressage enthusiasts give to us each time we compete internationally. It is incredible and very much appreciated.

In addition, the amazing comments on Facebook and Instagram – we read them all and can’t tell you how much the support from back home motivates us.

The Australian team spirit at events like this is inspiring! The other disciplines support each other and to see the reiners, para equestrians, eventers, vaulters and so on, in the stands was humbling.

My teammates Alexis, Mary and Kristy, their families and grooms – look what we achieved!! We supported each other and I’m very proud to have been a part of this amazing team. It’s our wish that these results will help promote and support the Australian team efforts going forward to Tokyo.

Thank you to Terry Snow and his team at Willinga Park for keeping the home front running. Terry has given me the security to compete overseas and not stress about how we are going to survive once we get home. I am forever grateful to Terry for his support and for giving me the opportunity to be the best I can be.

My most fabulous and supportive family Mel and Jake. How did I get so lucky? Having them both in Tryon was very special. Mel is incredible! Most people wouldn’t know but along with everything that Mel does, she also takes on the responsibility of being my eyes-on-the-ground at shows, and warming me up before we compete. She watches over all management of the horses, answers late night messages from home, takes care of Jake and keeps my life at the shows stress free, leaving me in my bubble. She is simply amazing and I couldn’t do anything like this without her.  Also, a big THANKYOU to our families back home for the constant messages of support and for keeping our other animals alive!

Thank you to our special little Penrose community for keeping an eye on our place while Mel was away. It’s nice to know you’re there watching out for us.

Last but not least, to Rabbit’s little soulmate, our WEG groom Ashlee MacDonald. Thank you Ash! You and Rabbit are special to each other and it shows in the way you care for him. Thank you for loving our Rabbit like he’s your own, and having him in the best shape for competing.

As we head home, we’re inspired by each and every one of you to continuing flying the Australian dressage flag, and to share our experiences.

Brett's Lateral Work Cheat Sheet

Quick tips for every lateral movement through the levels

Get the cheat sheet