Wellington RDA’s Dressage Day was a galloping success as Riders, Horses, Volunteers, and Supporters turned out for a morning of competition and horsey fun.
Ten WRDA riders and six WRDA horses competed for ribbons in three classes: easy walk, hard walk, and easy trot, riding dressage tests set by WRDA. The judges for the competition were longtime supporters and original members of WRDA Diana Standen and Jan Jones. Riders were judged on how well they rode the dressage tests and handled their mounts. Sue, who has been volunteering at WRDA for a little over a term, was writer for the judges and in charge of tallying the scores for each class.
The first class - the easy walk - saw six Riders take to the arena. Harrison, the first Rider to arrive at Dressage Day and the first to compete said, “I’m very excited, but I don’t think Bilbo likes looking like a girl with his plaited mane.”
Six ribbons were awarded in the first class: Therese pink sixth, Emily purple fifth, Jenna green fourth, Harrison yellow third, Millie blue second and Jorja took home the red first place ribbon. Jenna and Jake won the prize for best turned out Horse and Rider for the class. Jenna, four, who rides Jake on Saturdays was especially proud of her sparkly red tie. “And our hair matches, she said referring to the braids in her hair and Jake’s mane.”
The second class - the hard walk, where Riders completed the dressage test at a medium walk saw Riders Keisha and Rose compete for first and second place ribbons. Nine-year-old Keisha who rode Booms in the class said, “It’s awesome! I’m a little nervous but will do my best.”
Keisha took second and her friend Rose took the red first place ribbon. Keisha said she was very happy for her friend. In addition to her red ribbon, Rose and Bilbo won best turned out Horse and Rider for their class.
The final class - easy trot where Riders rode parts of the test at a slow trot saw 2013 NZRDA Rider of the Year, DuDway Ko take home the first place ribbon, and Ryan George win second. DuDway with Trixie also won best turned out Horse and Rider for his class.
The morning ended with Riders lining up for a photos and lots of smiles and congratulations from the spectators. “It went great,” said WRDA president Donna Kennedy, “it wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of the Volunteers and Coaches.” Seventeen WRDA Volunteers arrived early to make sure Horses were groomed and saddled up for their Riders, and Coaches provided support in the arena calling tests and leading mounts. “We were there more for safety than to give direction to Riders,” said Mel, who has been volunteering with WRDA for a year and a half. “The Riders do all the work.”