INSPIRATIONAL Shoalhaven dressage rider Victoria Davies continued her strong return to the competitive arena recently at the NSW State Dressage Championships at Sydney International Equestrian Centre.
Davies placed first in all three tests with Andaluka Elegido and second in the two tests in which she competed in with Celere.
“Andaluka Elegido ‘Eddy’ is a very seasoned competition horse - he has many years of competition experience under his belt,” Davies said.
“While I was campaigning both my horses in the exact same tests against each other, I knew ‘Eddy’ would come out on top for that very reason - more experience.
“Our scores were not our best and were about one per cent below our usual 70 per cent average, which to be honest, isn’t much but I always try to improve my scores over each competition
“However I did my best with the cards I was dealt with that week - four days before leaving for the state champs, it was suspected I may of had pneumonia as I had been sick for weeks
“Thankfully a chest X-ray showed I didn’t - my doctors gave me a fourth course of antibiotics and I picked up dramatically but these are sometimes the challengers I have.
“Having an illness/disability and being a professional athlete, it’s sometimes a juggling act of keeping well, not over doing it but still training.”
On the back of these strong results, Davies took home the title of champion FEI Para Grade II, for the fifth consecutive year with PRE Spanish stallion Andaluka Elegido ‘Eddy’.
“When someone mentioned this was the fifth time I had won state for my grade, I was a bit surprised,’ she said.
“More so at the fact that wow I’ve been competing on Andaluka Elegido for five years.
“It only feels like yesterday that he was a newly broken in stallion and I was going down the centreline for the first time.
“Looking back, we’ve achieved so much together from state, national and international wins - he truly is one in a million and my best mate.
“He’s a horse that knows he’s the best.”
On top of this, Davies was named reserve champion FEI Para Grade II - with her imported Lusitano buckskin stallion Celere.
“I’m so proud of Celere and how far he has come – he’s still learning about competition life in Australia as it is quite different to Europe and seeming he’s only been in Australia one year, it is a big change for him,” she said.
“Celere is a lovely horse that puts a lot of trust in me as his rider and it truly showed at this competition - he was very bold, very focused and believe it or not, he wasn’t very far behind Andaluka Elegido’s scores which is a huge improvement since February where we attend the Sydney CDI.
“Celere has a very big future ahead of him but it’s all about practising, getting more competition exposure under his belt but I assure you he will be hot on Eddy’s tail for those first place wins.”
Not to be outdone, Davies’ coach Jim Collin scored a huge 75 per cent and placed first in the Mitavite EA Elementary 3.2 competition out of a large field of 16 riders – placing him third overall in the Elementary Championship.
Other Shoalhaven Dressage riders to compete at the NSW State Dressage Championships were Kim McDonald (AOR Preliminary), Cathy Chittenden (Pony Prelim and Advanced Freestyle), Jim Collin (Open Elementary), Alycia Targa (Open Medium), Pamela Bice (Open Preliminary) and Lucy Williams (Open Preliminary).
This included Collins (3.3), Targa (4.3) and Chittenden (5.3) teaming up to place third in the regional teams competition.
Davies won’t have long to savour the victories though, as she has already started preparations for her other upcoming events.
“At the moment, Nationals in Victoria are coming up in October, however I’m uncertain whether I will attend,” she said.
“I have to travel to Victoria in December and January for major competitions, which I’m assuming will be qualifiers for WEG (World Equestrian Games).
“So I need to be aware of the pressure of travel I’m putting on myself and team of horses.
“For the short term, the Shoalhaven Dressage Club are holding their annual Championships in October - I will certainly be attending those.
“My partner Michael and I have proudly sponsored the junior championship at this event, under our stud name Tora V Dressage - it’s nice to give something back to a great club that are always happy to hold my para tests when I need extra practice time.”
Shoalhaven Dressage Club’s results from the NSW State Dressage Championships:
Kim McDonald riding Dadirri Senisei
Fourth with 69.81 per cent - preliminary 1.2 AOR
First with 71.74 per cent - preliminary 1.3 AOR
Placed second in the preliminary AOR Championship
Cathy Chittenden riding Ego Olivier
Sixth with 65.19 per cent - preliminary 1.2 Pony
Sixtth with 66.30 per cent -preliminary 1.3 Pony
Placed sixth in the preliminary AOR championship
Pamela Bice riding Wealth
Sixth with 70.02 per cent - preliminary 1.2
10th with 68.48 per cent - preliminary 1.3
Lucy Williams riding Ela Senator
11th with 70.38 per cent - preliminary 1.2
19th with 65.43 per cent - preliminary 1.3
Jim Collin riding Neversfelde Kipling
First with 75.83 per cent - elementary 3.2
Sixth with 68.13 per cent - elementary 3.3
Placed third in the elementary championship
Cathy Chittenden riding Neversfelde Springbok
Second with 70.25 per cent - advanced freestyle
Fourth with 69.86 per cent - advanced 5.2
Fifth with 67.63 per cent - advanced 5.3
Placed fourth in the advanced championship
Alycia Targa with Neversfelde Kenya
Fifth with 67.50 per cent - advanced 5.2
Second with 70.07 per cent - advanced 5.3
Placed third in the advanced championship