Your license is expired, please update on your Conversion Cats account page.

blog

World-class Willinga Park

by Brett in News & Updates
October 18, 2017

What can I say about Willinga Park that hasn’t already been said?

WOW! If you haven’t been lucky enough to visit yet, let me tell you that Willinga Park is hands-down the best equestrian facility I’ve ever seen – worldwide. It is breathtaking AND it’s right here in Australia, on the NSW South Coast.

I’ve been honoured to be involved in the development of this venue from the beginning, and to see Terry Snow’s vision for Australian equestrian sport come to fruition with the hosting of Willinga Park’s first CDI**, was an amazing moment.

Larenso and I were the first combination to compete on this arena!

The whole event went brilliantly. I loved the looks on everyone’s faces, and the comments from my dressage colleagues.

Seeing the owners and sponsors pampered by Terry’s hospitality was awesome. They were treated just as they should be, and Terry had a ball doing it!

Perhaps the most interesting and surprising part of the weekend was the number of first time dressage spectators. Huge!!

One story that stood out for me was an email that Terry received from a local dad (not a horsey family), who had brought his three children to the show. He’d seen a poster at the local shops and thought he’d come along and have a look. In his email, he talked about how welcoming everybody was, the warm hospitality his family received, how inclusive the dressage community was – helping his children feed carrots to the horses and hose them off. This dad said for his kids, it was the day of their lives, they can’t stop talking about it and they now want to pursue riding.

This was one email of many and we should all be proud of what we, as a community, achieved that day, thanks to Terry’s leadership and vision.

As for my team’s performance, Rabbit (Weltmeiser), owned by Susie Duddy, felt great all weekend – what a professional he is. He came 3rd in the Grand Prix CDI** on 68.920% (video below), and 2nd in the Freestyle on 74.145%.

I was very happy with Led (Zeppelin) in the Grand Prix Freestyle. Jointly owned by us and Helen Batson, Led is still new at this level and I really felt I had a Grand Prix horse under me. He came 9th on 70.145%,

Beans (Sky Diamond), owned by Michele Sangrioli, found the atmosphere a little over-exciting on day one but was brilliant on day two for 69.123% and 2nd place in the 5.3. Here he is:

I had two horses from the Mulawa Performance team competing, Larenso and MI Sirtainly Sir, both outstanding quality horses that fit in perfectly amongst the first-class facilities at Willinga Park.

It was Larenso’s first Grand Prix, and (totally randomly) we were the first combination to ever compete on that arena! Wow what a moment! I was thrilled for Larenso to win the Grand Prix CDN class on 65.440%. Here’s the video of that test:

MI Sirtainly Sir had a cracking Prix St George’s test to come in 2nd on 71.026%.

The world-class shows are coming thick and fast – I’m about to kick off my campaign at the Australian Championships at the wonderful Boneo Park. I’m thrilled to be able to compete on these quality surfaces at fantastic venues, and Boneo is well worth the trip. In fact, I’d drive across the country to compete at that venue!

I have four horses competing this year – Rabbit, Led, Larenso and Beans. They’ve had a little break after Willinga Park, followed by a few days of basic work and now they’re ramped up again and ready for the Championships. Boneo Park, here we come!