Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award
If a pony out scores the horses at an official EA Dressage Championship event, the pony will be awarded with
$250 plus an inscribed rug to commemorate this achievement.
Ponies winning a Grand Champion Award will be featured on this page and in the official 'Sports Pony' Newsletter.
Grand Champion Award Rules and Conditions :
Competition year 1/8/18 to 31/7/19
Open to ponies not exceeding 148 cms without shoes in all Australian states and territories.
Pony must be registered with its EA State Branch and owner/rider must be financial members in accordance with the EA rules.
Current measuring certificate must be supplied for proof of height. EA, RAS or SHC certificates accepted.
Must be an EA Official Dressage event.
Preliminary to Grand Prix eligible.
Event must have two tests at same level and at least an open championship at that level.
Both pony tests must be judged by same judge/s as the open tests for the level to be eligible.
If an open championship is awarded at a level but no pony championship is awarded for the same level, championship points will be allocated to the highest placed pony as if it was included in the open championship.
HC results and Freestyles are not eligible.
Copy of official results (or link to results) must be submitted by rider/owner to the ASPR Federal Office.
All championship levels are eligible. Multiple combinations may be awarded at the same event.
Grand Champion Award will be calculated as per EA Dressage rules ie: points awarded for placings. In the event of a tie for the level championship (with a horse or pony), the total aggregate percentage will be used to calculate the winner. If total percentage is equal, winner will be determined by highest percentage achieved in hardest test.
Combination (pony and rider) can only win a Grand Champion Award once in any one year and only once at any one level ie: if combination wins Grand Champion at Preliminary level, that combination cannot win the award at Preliminary again the following year or any subsequent year unless the combination of pony and rider changes.
Canter Home Flash
The first winner of the ASPR sponsored Grand Champion Dressage Award is a true Australian station bred pony.
Out of a quarter horse x stock horse mare with unknown sire, Flash is owned, trained and ridden by Heidi Bliesner in Queensland.
He won this award by outscoring horses in the Preliminary Championship at the North Queensland Equestrian Group Championships in August, 2016.
Roy is a 16 yo Australian Pony/Arabian derivative gelding who is the epitome of a child's pony. He is one of the most safest and reliable ponies for children and out trail riding through the bush or walking along a busy road to galloping across fields he will always bring his little rider safely home.
He is also the most superb dressage schoolmaster and has taught his young rider's so much. He always gives 100% and has an amazing work ethic and is a pleasure to own. Balena Roy has competed in local and State dressage events and has represented Victoria at National Interschool events in dressage and combined training.
Balena Roy won his Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award at the Western Vic Dressage Festival at Ballarat on the 11th March, 2017 by winning both Preliminary tests and the Open Championship. To top of his very special day, Roy gained the last few points he needed to also win his Gold Roll of Merit Award from the same event.
Mithril Velocity is by the Welsh C stallion Bookra Sports Edition out of the Welsh B Mithril Valerie (x Fairway Skyline) and was bred by Christine Milvain of Mithril
Rider and trainer Kristy Sparks teamed up with Chris Milvain to produce this pony in dressage. His siblings from the same dam have been very successful dressage ponies with Mithril Vagabond placing well as a young pony at D&JWTS and going on to compete at FEI level. Mithril Valetta also competed as a Young Pony, so Velocity had little choice but to follow in their footsteps.
He has fabulous paces with a truly lovely canter and a will to learn. He placed nicely at D&WTS 2017 with minimal preparation and still green at that level.
He won the Open Novice Championship at the Elmore Equestrian Club event in September, 2017 and has only just started at this level.
Noble Dancer is a 7 year old German Riding Pony stallion by Heidbergs Nancho Nova out of a mare by Immenmoor Golden Future. He was imported by Amanda Shoobridge in 2013 and was the winner of the D&JWT National Pony Champion of Champions both as a 5 yo and a 6 yo.
He has been successful at all levels to date and to win the Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award, he won the Open Advanced Championship at the Young Dressage Championships in July, 2018.
"Patrick" was born on the day that Patrick Swayze passed away, 14th September, 2009.
He is a Riding Pony gelding by Manorvale County Royal and out of a mare by Staveley Mastermind.
Deb Hamid purchased Patrick as a 5 yo but in their first few years had a very bumpy road, both having to overcome injuries and Deb with back surgery.
After 18 months, they returned to competition in May this year where Patrick outdid himself beating horses on many occasions.
As a Gemmologist who has to drive 2 hours each way to work, Deb says riding as an amateur owner is quite challenging as well as the fact that Patrick can be a bit 'precious' and difficult at times.
Deb was delighted to win the ASPR Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award for Patrick's performance at the VDC Dressage competition in June, 2018.
The ASPR is delighted to give a Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award to the super 12 yo part welsh gelding Allengreen Medallist who is by Richmeed Medallion out of the Welsh B mare Allengreen In Vogue (x Congarinni Cadet). He was bred by Allengreen Stud and has been owned by Leanne Shead of Select Pony Breeding for many years before being purchased earlier this year.
‘Tommy’ instantly formed a great partnership with his young 12 year old owner rider Ava Braniff and together with coaching from Maree Tomkinson and Tayla Desmet they have recently stepped out together in the competition arena. They competed in their first official competition only a few weeks ago and were delighted to win and now at only their second competition, the Whittlesea Plenty Valley DC Dressage day, they won the Open Medium Championship which gave them an ASPR Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award.
Their connection together is a delight and we are very excited for their future.
Photo credit One Eyed Frog Photography
Thalaba Ruby Dreaming
Ruby is a 13 yo bay mare by the Riding Pony stallion Rathowen Paragon out of a pure arabian mare Dreaming Gold who is by Arabian Park Phaeton.
Karen has owned Ruby since Dec 2015 and trains and rides her herself with wonderful assistance from her instructors at AEBC and ESI, Rikke and Manuela.
Ruby has achieved several Preliminary dressage championships at EV competitions and was awarded the ASPR Grand Champion Dressage Pony in for winning the Open Preliminary Championship at Juravon Park DC in Feb, 2019.
Ruby is certainly versatile and while Karen says she won't ever jump to great heights, she had two starts in jumping competitions this year, winning a Gold Medal in the 45cm combined training at EV Masters.
Ruby has had, and continues to have, a very successful showing career in breed and galloway classes as well, including placings at Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne Royals.
Karen thanks the ASPR for sponsoring these awards and says that Ruby will wear her rug with pride.
Karen said "I am very fortunate to be Ruby’s human and look forward to many more years of learning and fun with her."
Credit - One Eyed Frog Photography
Montre Midnight Storm
Montre Midnight Storm (aka Milo) is a 9yo 14.2hh Anglo Arab gelding by Springtime Rossini out of Rosewood House Desert Badu. He is owned and ridden by 14yo Imogen Hewitt.
Milo was bred by Imogen’s parents, broken in as a 3yo then spent the next 4 years as a pretty paddock ornament. Imogen loves a project so in 2017 she decided it was time to see what he could do. Within a few months the pair commenced their Newcomer show season, then started competing in Interschools dressage competitions with some great results.
Milo has handled his ‘later in life’ career very well, being the most laid back horse who has an amazing work ethic and tries his heart out every ride.
Milo won the Grand Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award by winning the Preliminary Championship at the Macedon Ranges Dressage Championships in April, 2019 which was their first official dressage competition.
A great achievement and reward for Imogen and her coach Shanon McKimmie who have done all the training and hard work - let’s hope this is the start of many more great successes to come!
Credit Jaydee Images
Heritage Park Chartreuse
Louie is an 11 year old part Welsh x Riding Pony gelding by Stanton Park Lemon Ruski out of Heritage Park Lesmis. His owner and rider Amy Bachmann acquired Louie in 2012 and has trained him with coach assistance since then.
Louie is a very versatile pony that has had a successful showing career and has now transitioned over to Interschool and EA Dressage just as successfully. In 2016 he was the Victorian state Interschoool Nan MacArthur award recipient. He also received Reserve Champion Elementary Pony at Dressage Festival.
In January 2017 he won the FEI Pony Championship and Reserve Champion Medium Pony at the Victorian Youth Dressage Championships
Heritage Park Chartreuse received the ASPR Grand Champion award at the Berwick and District Skye Park Classic on the 19th of February, 2017 where he won the Open Medium Championship.
Smash Hit Aria
Smash Hit Aria is a 7 yo warmblood pony mare by Smash Hit and out of a Thoroughbred mare. She was bred by Woodcrest Equestrian, Brisbane.
Aria was the 2016 Queensland Dressage Pony of the Year, 2016 Queensland State Preliminary Champion and won the Queensland Pony Leaderboard for 2016. She regularly competes against open horses in dressage.
Owned, trained and ridden by Kylee Chandler, the combination won the Open Novice Championship at the Cooloola Dressage Champs and the Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award. Aria was the 5th and final winner for the 2016/17 award year.
The new competition year for the Grand Champion Awards began on 1st August and Smash Hit Aria repeated her Grand Champion Dressage Pony win in mid August by winning the Open Preliminary Championship at the Fraser Coast Dressage Championships. She also won the Open Novice Championship at this event.
Photo credit - Ozshotz
Marena Display is a 23 years young Australian Pony gelding who Caitlyn has been in partnership with for nearly 4 years.
He is by Marena Sky Chief who was also the sire of the first ever winner of a Gold ROM Award, Marena Night Sky. His dam is Marena Danielle (x Croppa Dandy).
Starting in Pony Club Gr 4, Marena Display has been a fantastic schoolmaster advancing them to Elementary and FEI Pony level and a place on the Victorian Young Rider A Squad.
He won the Open Elementary Championship at the Boneo Park Spring Championships in September, 2017.
Cheval De Luxe
Cheval de Luxe is an imported Westphalen German Riding Pony stallion, now owned by Sara Price and Jocelyn King. Sara and 'Chevy' have been extremely successful through the dressage levels, including multiple national and state pony championships from Elementary to Small Tour. They have proven to be highly competitive against the horses at FEI level, consistently achieving top placings at state championship and CDI events.
They are the current National Pony Small Tour champions, and won the Australian PSG leg of the World Dressage Challenge in 2017.
Sara and 'Chevy' have achieved a coveted Grand Champion Dressage Pony award for their performance in the CDN Small Tour at the 2018 Sydney CDI, where they won the Inter 1 with a score of 68.97% and placed third on the PSG with a score of 68.76%.
We are extremely proud that this talented combination achieved this recognition at FEI level, and at an event of this calibre.
Thank you ASPR for your generous sponsorship of this initiative which encourages pony combinations to strive to be competitive against the horses.
Raven Lodge Aura
Raven Lodge Aura is a 13 year old Pinto mare (x Raven Lodge Born Brave x Allanooka Omar) owned and ridden by Sophie Taylor. Sophie and Aura have been together for 3 years with Aura taking Sophie successfully from Preliminary to Elementary and FEI Pony level dressage.
2018 has been a very successful year for Aura and Sophie with a win at Elementary level and the FEI Pony Freestyle at the Australian Young Rider Dressage Championships.
In May this year Aura was the first pony in the history of the ASPR to earn a second Gold Roll of Merit Award (her first Gold ROM was won with Natasha Moody).
The Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award was won at the Whittlesea Plenty Valley Dressage Club Spring Championships (2018) with Aura winning the Open Elementary Championship.
Photo Credit Julie Wilson
Barringa Alexander is a 9 year old Welsh Cob gelding by Cwmkaren Tywysog Du and out of the mare Llangollen Kareena (x Yoorami Justin Hobar). He was bred by Jenny Van Eyden.
This is his second ASPR Grand Champion Dressage Pony award, having won previously in Elementary in 2016.
Alex was purchased as an 18 month old and has been broken in, trained and competed by Sarah.
The combination have had success in young pony classes, winning Young Pony 4yo Champion at D&WTS in 2014 and the 4, 5 and 6 yo class at the Dressage Festival.
Together they’ve enjoyed the challenge of climbing up the levels, having success at state and national level. The progression to medium has been gradual but persistence has paid off and he is now finding the work easy. Sarah just loves competing Alex, he puts his game face on, focuses and tries his best every time.
Sarah is delighted to win the ASPR Grand Champion Pony Award again, this time at Medium level at the recent Western Victoria Dressage Club Championships.
Sarah thanked the ASPR for offering this award, encouraging pony riders to strive to be competitive against the bigger horses.
The 7 yo Welsh D gelding Barringa Alexander is by Cwmkaren Tywysog out of a Yoorami Justin Hobart mare and is owned, trained and ridden by Sarah French of Victoria.
He was the 4 yo D&JWTS Young Pony Champion and won the 4, 5 and 6 yo Young Pony classes at the Victorian Dressage Festival.
Barringa Alexander won this award by outscoring horses in the Elementary Championship at the Elmore Equestrian Club Championships in December, 2016.
Rubern Landy Star
Rubern Landy Star, better known as Barney, is an incredibly talented 14hh palomino gelding who came through the Rockhampton Sales with unknown breeding. Four years of intense dressage training with talented coach Shelley Callaghan and 14 year old rider Alisha Griffiths have seen the trio make it to where they are today. This year they have had success riding as members of the Queensland Young Riders Squad in Medium/Advanced at State and National level and Interschool Dressage competitions.
An incredible story of escaping the 'doggers' to achieving State titles, Barney always gives Alisha 100% and the strong bond between them is a huge factor in their many successes to date.
Rubern Landy Star and Alisha Griffiths achieved a Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award as a result of winning the Open Medium Championship at the Brenda Whitman Classic 2*, Gatton, Qld in August, 2017.
Photo credit - Gone Riding Media and Consulting
Jim is a 13.3h Welsh B gelding by the beautiful Owendale Brandyman and out of Mithril Valerie, the same dam as Mithril Velocity who also won a Grand Champion Award. He has just turned 9 years of age and was given to me as a youngster by his breeder, Chris Milvain of Mithril Welsh Ponies. He has been a delight in every way. I broke him in (or should I say just chucked a saddle on) and have ridden him ever since.
He competed successfully as a 4, 5, and 6 year old at D&JWTS and has been working his way steadily up the levels. We combine our dressage with some jumping, something he’s also talented at but we just haven’t had the time to do more of. He also loves to work stock, where he discovers a new level of energy. And kids? No problem.
Until Jim, I hadn’t ridden higher than Medium Dressage, so anything extra we do now is new to both of us. The fact that he’s taken everything in his stride is a testament to his temperament. Naturally good movement and a sound constitution has led to us now competing at FEI Small Tour. Competing at this level I thought we wouldn’t have a chance of winning this award…and at only his second Inter I test he did. To say I was thrilled is an understatement! Who knows what the future holds!
Thanks so much to the ASPR for this award.
Heritage Park Chartreuse
Heritage Park Chartreuse is a 12 year old locally bred pony whom has now won his second Grand Champion Dressgae Pony Award. He won the first time in 2018 at Medium level.
The buckskin Riding Pony gelding is by Stanton Park Lemon Ruski and out of Heritage Park Lesmis (x Imperial Jerrard).
2018 has been a great year for Amy Bachmann and Heritage Park Chartreuse (Louie). They have progressed through the levels and are very grateful for the pony classes, especially at the Australian Dressage Championships.
Their wins this year include winning Small Tour Champion at the Australian Interschool Nationals placing higher than the Openhorses. They have won both the Pony PSG and Pony Inter 1 at the 2018 Australian Dressage Championships following on from their success at the 2017 Australian Championships.
They were also fortunate enough to try out for the Masterclass at Equitana with Pedros Torres, the pair settling for a working equitation education session.
Heritage Park Chartreuse won Grand Champion Pony at the ASPR dressage on the 14th October for the Open Small Tour Champion.
Thank you to the ASPR for their ongoing support and encouragement of pony classes.
Photo credit : Oz Shots
Hilkens Denali (Imp)
Hilkens Denali (x Dream Catcher x Black Boy) was originally imported from Germany to New Zealand. As a 2 year old in Germany he was ‘premium licensed’ and during his many years in NZ, Denali had a very successful career in competitive dressage and also as a stallion where he still has many progeny carrying on his name. For his achievements he was awarded Principle Status in the NZ Warmblood Stud Blood in 2012.
In May 2017 he arrived in Sydney Australia for a new life as a gelding with his new owner Wendy Lorincz. He has the most fantastic temperament and has taken Wendy to competing successfully at Advanced, often beating the horses, in a little over 12 months.
Wendy and Denali are working towards competing Prix St George in the first half of 2019. Wendy says she feels so privileged and happy to be sharing her life with Hilkens Denali and everyone who meets him recognises his star quality.
Wendy thanks the ASPR for sponsoring the Grand Champion Dressage Pony Award which Denali won at the Jindera Equestrian Association Championships in October, by outscoring the horses in the Advanced Championship.
Photo credit - Jessica Atkins Photo Art & Studio
Rhyl Top Hat
The super 13 yo gelding Rhyl Top Hat ( x Rhyl Top Shelf x Rosslayne Royal Occasion) was bred by Rhyl Pony Stud and was purchased some years ago as an 8th birthday present for Ava.
'Squiggle' is a multiple Royal Show Champion/HOTY winner and has been such an outstanding pony for the Braniff's that it was deemed he must always stay in the family. When the time came for Ava to cross over into the dressage arena, Squiggle simply had to learn new tricks and come along for the ride as well.
With much training and helping hands along the way they were joint winners of the Primary Preliminary Championship at the Victorian IS Championships last year before going on to claim the title at the Australian IS National Championships. They then attended the Victorian Youth Championships in January and were awarded the Reserve Champion Preliminary Pony as well as the ASPR Rising Star Preliminary Pony Award, kindly sponsored by Jill Cobcroft.
Motivated by these wins, they attended their first Official Open EA Dressage competition at the Autumn Championships at Boneo Park and were delighted to outscore the horses and claim the Open Preliminary Championship.
Ava and her mum said "We are so thankful to the ASPR for their recognition of the ponies and their significant achievements and are inspired to develop and enjoy Squiggles’ new found career."
Credit One Eye Frog Phography