On the opening day of Balmoral show 2016, Dressage Ireland Northern Region proudly showcased a Dressage Demonstration. The demo was an outstanding success, highlighting the highest level of horse training and expression of a horse’s natural athletic ability.
The horses and riders (who are all members of DI NR) exemplified work from basic up to International level. A full running commentary from Alison Mastin Moore, List 1 dressage judge, accompanied the display. This added an educational slant to the display which the crowd certainly seemed to enjoy!
Jill Hobson was the first rider in the ring, riding her bay mare, Furisto Seven for a Secret. Jill exemplified the work at Novice level which included riding 10 meter circles, medium trot and canter, rein back and counter canter. Alison pointed out what the judge and trainer should be looking for in these movements.
Roisin Muirhead on her part bred Connemara pony, Dunsallen, followed Jill into the ring. Roisin expertly rode movements expected at Elementary level and above (leg yield, shoulder in, medium trot.) Roisin is one of DI NR’s Youth riders and in 2015 Roisin was a member of the Pony Dressage Irish High Performance squad and competed internationally.
Exemplifying the work at Medium level was Sarah Reid and her mount, Ballynolin Sirocco, a nine year old Irish sports horse. Sarah flawlessly rode through half pass, shoulder in, Travers, leg yield.
The finale of the demonstration was a Dressage to Music display given by Courtney Stuart and her horse, Fanfarron 8, a 12 year old bay gelding by the german stallion Florestan who’s sire Fidelio is one of the most popular sires in the Rhineland. Courtney’s test illustrated the work expected at PSG and Intermediate 1 level, movements such as extended and collected walk, pirouettes, two, three and four time changes, half pass etc.
Many thanks to all of the riders, to Alison for her informative and enjoyable commentary, and to the organisers!