Brett Parberry & Victory Salute Take Aussie Championships World Cup

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The winning ride by Brett Parberry and Victory Salute. © 2009 Franz Venhaus
The winning ride by Brett Parberry and Victory Salute. © 2009 Franz Venhaus

SYDNEY, Oct. 31–Brett Parberry and Victory Salute staked their claim to the top dressage combination competing Down Under by winning the Australian Dressage Championships World Cup event at the Sydney International Equestrian Center Saturday night.

In the Grand Prix Freestyle, Brett and Carolyn Lieutenant’s Victory Salute scored 74.550 per cent to beat the 2008 Olympic duo of Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi into second place on 73.250 per cent. Ryan’s wife, Rozzie, on Jive Magic, was a distant third at 68.450 per cent.

The Grand Prix on Friday was won by Parberry and Victory Salute with 68.255 per cent, Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi were second on 65.404 per cent and Gitte Donvig on Port Said 10 third with 63.660 per cent.

Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi in the Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2009 Franz Venhaus
Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi in the Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2009 Franz Venhaus

After Saturday night’s freestyle, Brett said:

“We are having a blinder of year. We are putting in a lot of hard work with our focus on Kentucky.”

Heath Ryan said he had “done a blinder of a test and I can’t believe that Brett did such an amazing job to beat me. The aim is to get three Australian riders over 70 per cent in international competition and we are getting there. It is just so exciting.”

Ryan returned to international competition following recovery from a stroke in May this year.

“I have had some health issues so it has been a bit of a low year; however, my problems were highly publicized and I talk to other people who have had even worse things go wrong but no-one knows about them so I just have to get over it,” he said.

British 5* judge Stephen Clarke said that judging must be consistent no matter what the standard of the competition.

“It is very important to the riders that we judge to the same level whether it’s in Aachen at the World Games or Windsor at the European Championships or here in the CDI,” he said, “the important thing to me is that we judge to the same standard throughout the world and for me the winner of the Grand Prix on 68 per cent is pretty good anywhere in the world.

“I was very happy with the general level, I think we saw a lot of really good quality work, OK some expensive mistakes here and there but for me the quality of what we saw was very promising.”

Axel Steiner, a 5* judge from San Diego, California, said that as a group Australian dressage riders are improving.

USA 5* judge Axel Steiner. © 2009 Franz Venhaus
USA 5* judge Axel Steiner. © 2009 Franz Venhaus

“If you look at it like a pyramid it is getting wider, wider at the base and staying broader, it’s not so steep and not so sharp and I think that is a very good sign that you are on the right track,” he said.

Clarke noted that while Australia is getting wider at the base, “the trouble is so are all the other countries. This sport is just taking off all around the world it is fantastic. At the last European Championships all the world records were completely smashed it was the most exciting championship that I have ever judged.”

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