A fancy dress freestyle competition that was held last year at GCEG. PICTURE: Contributed
A fancy dress freestyle competition that was held last year at GCEG. PICTURE: Contributed

Equestrian club has big plans for 2020

DRESSAGE: The Gladstone Calliope Equestrian Group is set for a big 2020.

Committee member Clare Figueiredo said the club was encouraging new riders and their horses to the sport of dressage.

Last year’s action.
Last year’s action.

"The club is also in the process of organising some social riding days in between the competitions for those who just want to enjoy riding their horse and in turn, meet like-minded people," she said.

"The dates of these events will be advised shortly."

The club will hold its meeting at noon on Saturday and there will also be a working bee from 9am.

GCEG was started by a few riders from this region about 30 years ago, but the club did not become incorporated until 2000.

"We have on average 30 competitors and each competitor will ride two or three dressage tests per day with some riding more than one horse at a competition as well," Figueiredo said.

She said club membership was about 50, made up of those who compete and those who choose not to.

Figueiredo said the GCEG's main purpose was to offer everyday riders the opportunity to ride a dressage test in a friendly environment with high-class facilities.

Dressage is a French word and simply means "training".

"So it really is just training of the horse in this case," Figueiredo said.

"At the early levels, a dressage horse will be expected to show correct, balanced paces in walk, trot and canter.

"This is the level of dressage that any good horseperson can do and we welcome local riders to come to an event and have a go."

As the tests get more challenging, the horse has to learn to transfer more weight on its hind legs and virtually dance through the movements.

Some of the most difficult grand prix movements (the highest level of dressage) include piaffe, passage, canter pirouettes and flying changes every stride.

One of the more prominent riders is GCEG member Claire Wallace who has ridden and trained two horses successfully to Grand Prix level.

Other notable successes have been earned by Tracey Williams riding at Advanced/Prix St George levels and Leah McLellan riding at Advanced.

The events are held at Mt Larcom Showgrounds and contact person is Charlene Polley 0448 816286 or email secretary.gceg@gmail.com.

 COMPETITION DATES

April 5; May 24; July 25-26; September 27 - Prep to Grand Prix

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