Dressage Western Australia


This month, our final edition for 2021, we showcase the wonderful AFGRI Grassroots Dressage Championship, the Pennyhill Park Rising Star and our virtual clinic for the high performance squad.

The festive season is rapidly upon us and as the end of the year draws near we can reflect on a positive 2021 for dressage sport in Western Australia.  We were so lucky to have an array of events throughout the year, from club competitions to the Hygain WA State Dressage Championships, protocol days, clinics, seminars and workshops.

With great sadness, we farewell Jackie Lancaster, a valued member of Dressage Western Australia and a person who contributed so much to dressage in WA in a myriad of ways. Jackie's passion for dressage was second to none and the community will miss her support, her inspiration, her kindness and her enthusiasm.

The Dressage WA Committee wish you all a safe and merry christmas with family, friends and of course horses!  See you all in the New Year for a positive 2022 of dressage in WA.

- Katrina Lodge


Click below to jump on in!



Growing our sport from the ground up! ‘Foundations are key’!
In its fourth year 106 tests were ridden by some 53 riders at this AFGRI Grass Roots Dressage Championships, held by Dressage WA at the SEC on Sunday 3rd October 2021.
This event is to encourage the development dressage in WA. Only riders who were Participant or Adult Rider members of EWA were permitted to enter, and only on horses without current dressage cards. Classes were split into two categories with placings for EA Participant and EA Adult Riders.

A huge thank you AFGRI Equipment who were very generous to come on board as the competition’s naming rights sponsor, which helped us buy some beautiful Championship rugs from Gala Equine, embroidered by Customs Rosettes for our overall champions and bridle bags made by Sew On It for our Reserve Champions. A huge thank you to our judges on the day Chris Hope, Sara Botten, Terri Hummerston, Angelika Sorensen, Jacqui Addison and Sharon Elizabeth for your encouraging support on the day!

Val, for your commentating on the day giving us all a load down on our fantastic sponsors, whom without, these events cannot go ahead.

AGFRI Equipment Ltd, Horseland Midland, Kohnkes Own, Interpath 4CYTE, Pimp My Pony, Brigadoon Produce, Jordyn Colleran Photography, OTT WA, Arena Saddles and Penrose Park Garlands.

Thank you to Beverly Leonard for scoring all day and to our volunteers who came down to lend a hand.

Teamwork! Another successful DWA Event! 

Thank you to Arena Saddles for spending the day with us and offering such a generous and exciting prize of a new saddle which was won by Kelly Roads!

- Karen Davies


The riders especially wanted to thank our Chief Steward Janet Reid for your support to them and their horses on the day. You’re a legend!


The 2021 Penny Hill Park Rising Star Award is Western Australia’s greatest showcase of up and coming talent in the State. Proudly sponsored by Penny Hill Park Stud, the event invites combinations in their first year of competitive dressage to compete together for the coveted title: Penny Hill Park Stud Rising Star.

Given the disruption caused by COVID during 2020, resulting in 5 months without competition at the peak of the season, combinations were provided 2 years to qualify for the event. This resulted in 18 horses (rather than the standard 15 horses) and 16 ponies qualifying for the event.

6 ponies and 13 horses competed at the event on 3 October 2021 in the International Area at the State Equestrian Centre. Beautiful novice tests were showcased throughout the day, judged by Zoe Harrison, Elaine Greene and Gill Botten.

Below, Michelle James from Penny Hill Park Stud with Kristy Zabaznow on Hyde Park Lafayette (left) & Lauren King on Trapalanda Downs Rhonda.
Images courtesy of Jessika Ryymin.

Top placings were as follows:


Hyde Park Lafayette - Kristy Zabaznow

Revelwood Showcase - Bella Robson

Saphira - Sara Thean





A huge thank you to event organiser, Jamie Stewart for the many hours that go behind this event. Thank you also to the judges, stewards and volunteers who make this event possible. Thank you to the excellent photographer, Jessika Ryymin from Meimipix. Finally, thank you to Michelle James from Penny Hill Park Stud for your ongoing support for this event.

For more information on qualifying for this event, click on the link below.



Above, Top Left, Wendy Barker on Ellis Brook Da Vinci, PSG
Above Top Right, Sharon Elizabeth on Whot Not, 2nd in PSG
Bottom Left, Rosa-Lee Principe on Memphis, Winner 5A & 5B
Bottom Right, Robyn Brown on Crystal in the Elementary 
Images courtesy of Meimipix

The weather gods smiled on Karinya Equestrian Park (Orange Grove) for both OGARC’s Gala Dressage weekend a new event on the WA calendar, "Dressage in the Grove", both of which attracted lots of competitors and spectators.

The Organising Committee (OC) for Dressage in the Grove put this extra event on because they were keen to see more dressage events South of the river for horses of all levels. They were delighted at the enthusiasm riders showed, entries filled in record time and the waiting list was long.

Melainey Lee-Newland from the OC said, "We are looking forward to holding an extra two events at Karinya Park in 2022. It is a beautiful venue with great clubrooms, the super covered arena and outdoor sand arena as well as lots of warm up space, loads of parking and plenty of permanent steel yards. This will mean there will be four quality days of official dressage at this location next year."

" The judges we invited are very widely travelled. They have judged dressage in Germany, Netherlands, Qatar, Norway, Portugal, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Belgium, Taiwan, Ireland, Japan, USA and the United Kingdom. We wanted the emphasis to be on having our very experienced team of judges to provide valuable comments and marks which would help our riders to achieve their own personal goals. However, we did also get lots of lovely feedback about the prizes we awarded!" said Secretary for the OC, Barbara Carle.

" We had quite a few people new to organising dressage events who joined our OC. They brought a very broad selection of skills, all did a marvellous job and really enjoyed the great sportsmanship and the friendly, relaxed atmosphere immensely. We’d particularly like to thank the OC and the VIP members of our team, as well as the many other people who helped on the day," remarked Chair of the OC, Wendy Barker.

" We were delighted to have very strong entries from riders on ponies, some ponies had great scores and competed up to Advanced!’ said Denise Barker.

In the spirit of reducing landfill to care for our planet, the OC asked VIPS and committee members to bring their own eco-drink bottles and provided chilled water in a water dispenser in the VIP Hospitality Corner.

" We were very proud of how little landfill our event generated," said Lauren McKinnon, VIP caterer from the Committee.


Sara Botten F Level

Above, Sara Botton, Photo Credit Vicki Tappper

Tell us a little about the history of your riding?

I grew up in a horse family. My mum has been actively involved in horses since before I was born and I was naturally attracted to hanging out on the paddock gates patting horses as a kid. My first pony was a 12HH pony called Peewee that we purchased off Hannie Byrne after her daughter Nicola grew out of him. He was a gun and did everything – ag shows, show jumping, dressage and games although I wasn’t very good at games! I did Pony Club, BEATS then EWA High Performance Squads as a teen and rode had a variety of horses from Welsh ponies, Stock horses, TBs and even a Percheron/WB/Connemara cross.

I’ve always actively competed in one way or another mostly in dressage and eventing. I’ve competed at CCI2* eventing, medium level dressage and 125cm show jumping. I am currently competing my thoroughbred Alabama at Novice/Elementary level with a plan of moving up to Medium next year. We have previously competed to CCN1*/105cm eventing together but this year I have focused on dressage because I have been concentrating on postgraduate studies. I also share the ride on mum’s warmblood Sugarloaf Royal Reflexion who is prelim / novice level.

 Why did you become a judge?

I really enjoy the analytics of dressage. I like learning about the entire training process and principles behind it often watching, learning and reading. My mum is a judge and was encouraged by her and Elaine Greene to become one myself as I was helping out at seminars and workshops with admin and demo riding. It’s very rewarding and has definitely helped me as a rider to better understand a judge’s perspective.

What do you look for when judging?
Harmony between horse and rider would by my number one priority. The horse must be happy and comfortable in the work being asked of him and rider at ease with their horse.
What is your greatest dislike when judging?
When my coffee runs out. It’s rare if I don’t bring one with me when judging and it’s always disappointing when its finished. Luckily, we have the most amazing event organisers in WA that always make sure I’m well caffeinated at all times 😊 Cheap thrills.
Any funny or unusual moments while judging?
Quite a few years ago I was invited to judge in Kalgoolie at the ODE. It was interesting to go somewhere different and I was quite a new judge at the time so thought it was pretty cool to be invited. At the start of the day, judges check their arena that both it is constructed correctly and it is safe. When I got to my arena there was a kangaroo in the arena. That’s ok, I’ll just move it along I thought … I got out the car and walked into the arena hoping it would disappear into the bush. It eyeballed me and hopped to the other end then turned and looked at me as if to say “My patch. Not yours!”. I spent the next 10 minutes chasing the kangaroo up and down the arena and no matter how much arm waving and jogging I did I could not get it out. Eventually the TD came over to help and clearly had a better kangaroo aura than me and one stern look from the TD and it hopped off quietly into the bush. I thanked the TD and sheepishly got back into the car but I never forgot the kangaroo! A uniquely Australian judging experience.
What is one thing would say to encourage more judges?
I think we are really lucky to have a lot of passionate people in WA who are knowledgeable and willing to contribute to the sport. If you are one of those people with a keen interest in dressage then give it a go. Take it on knowing it is a journey and while it can feel like a daunting task at the start once you are on your way it is very rewarding. I think an open mind and willingness to learn are essential. We never stop learning.



On the 15th and 16th of November The State dressage Squad members were fortunate enough to attend the first Virtual clinic hosted by Equestrian Western Australia. It was a great success with all 9 riders receiving excellent coaching from Danish born Olympian and 2019 National Grand Prix champion Jone Jorgensen. Lone now based in Victoria, seemed very comfortable using the Pixem Technology delivering very clear instruction and many pearls of wisdom which really improved the horses way of going. I certainly detected Lones mileage and experience of a huge range of horses. She has a gift for reading each individual combination perfectly.The clinic was well organised by EWA Sports Development Manager Aryan Ghasemi and High performance coordinator Anna Latto . Aryan purchased the Pixem Robot cameraman for EWA high performance so that Squad combinations in all disciplines could benefit from this technology and continue to train with top coaches Nationally and Internationally despite the Covid restrictions . Each rider came away with a video recording of their lesson with Lone. The picture and sound was very clear and easy to watch back several times on each riders smartphone phone . Speaking to Aryan who is highly qualified in the area of of developing Athletes to the highest level of competition, he felt this tool was one of the best ways for riders to absorb a much higher percentage of information given by the coach . With the ability for the rider to go back, repeat and study the information with a clear image of the areas that need improvement. According to Aryan this is the first of many new exciting initiatives and clinics that will be available in the future for EWA High Performance combinations to improve their performances.  Exciting times ahead for EWA High Performance.
- Terrina Fairbrother

Prep Champion Kerri Bennett riding her horse Lucie
"I purchased a green broken 4-year-old mare from the paddock just over 3 months ago. She was progressing well with her training, I saw the Grassroots Championship being advertised and offering prep tests, I thought this would be the perfect event to take her out and experience a dressage competition. It really was a great day, and she has definitely grown in confidence from this experience. The finishing touch was winning the prep championship, the prizes from the sponsors were fabulous..... We will be back!" - Kerrie
Reserve Champion Leanne Pitcher on Devereaux Elvis
"I have a bit of a personal interest in the Grass Roots Championships, having started the event when I was Participant Rep on the DWA committee a few years ago. I was really excited to be able to participate again this year, riding Wendy Ryan’s lovely boy Devereaux Elvis who handled the atmosphere like a seasoned pro 😊 the day was perfect…the weather was ideal for riding, the event was incredibly well-organised, and the prizes were very generous! Thanks to the DWA committee for keeping this important event on the dressage calendar and continuing to encourage the development of our sport at ‘grass roots’ level, which is where it all starts. A huge shout out also to the incredibly generous sponsors." - Leanne
Preliminary Champion Renee Kestel on her horse Worldclass Chocolate.

" Grassroots State Champs 2021 was the first competition back for me and my horse after having a year off. I was a little nervous about our return to the competition arena however this quickly went away as all other competitors were super friendly wishing each other luck and congratulating each other as they were entering and exiting the arenas.

The event ran on time which is always a massive bonus, and the judges wrote encouraging comments on the test sheets. Steward Janet was making all the horses feel welcome by offering them treats after their tests and ensuring no horse was left alone in the arena.

Overall, I walked away with a very positive experience and encourage all participant riders to get out and qualify for next year’s Grassroots State Champs. It was a very inviting environment for young horses, nervous riders or riders just wanting to go to an encouraging competition." -  Renee

Reserve Champion Dal Cornishon Hollands Bend Royal Romance.
" We attended the Grassroots Dressage Championships in October and what a day it was.  It was such a friendly and supportive environment and to top it off we had beautiful weather.  I did my first prelim test in the morning, and it felt great but for me I didn't think that actually meant it was great but to come out with a first and 73% was such an achievement and then to come out with overall high point on the day was just beyond words.  I won my first ever rug.  So many personal highs that day and can't thank the committee enough for putting on this event that encourages riders like myself to get out there." - Dal
Novice Champion Edwina Webster on Congeniality
" The vibe was buzzing & full of activity. Karen and DWA committee had everything covered, food, seating, trade stalls, background music, regular updates from Valerie ,& best of all a monitored, uncrowded warm-up arena. Thanks DWA for hosting such a great, encouraging event!" - Edwina
Penrose Park Garlands also donated a stunning garland for the Judges Choice which went to the Isabella Mullins riding House of Sharr.
Reserve Novice Champion Vikki Lynn on her horse
" I had a fabulous day on my first time competing at the Grassroots Dressage Competition. This competition gives all the participants and adult riders a chance to shine and do their best in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. It can be intimidating to go to a big show with many horses whizzing around, but this competition is just the right size and everyone seems to be at a similar level. I love that adult rider classes are offered so that I can compete with my peers. I belong to two adult rider clubs: Dressage Association of WA (DAWA) and Kelmscott and I love both my clubs! They give me the courage to get out and take on challenges with my horse. It would be wonderful to see more adult riders at the Grassroots Competition next year. Thank you to the organising committee of this wonderful event and to all the judges and helpers on the day. A special big thank you to the generous sponsors for supporting the competition. " - Vikki

Thanks to Jordyn Colleran Photography for our AFGRI Grassroots gallery pics above below

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