National Futures Squad Announced - 3 WA Dressage Riders Selected
Report by Wendy Barker, Chair of Dressage WA
Dressage WA congratulates Colin Chantler who owns and rides Bonita, Deon Stokes who rides Royal Oak II, owned by Narbethong Equestrian Park and Sally Rose Mayall who owns and rides Hollingrove Sunburst for their selection to the National Futures Squad for 2011-2012.
The three horses have all enjoyed success in their Dressage careers. Deon Stokes, well known for his success in Eventing and in Dressage, based in Darling Downs is currently competing Royal Oak II at Advanced. Sally Mayall from Mariginiup, is competing Novice & Elementary. Colin Chantler, a Dressage Judge and rider, runs a horse property in Oakford with Nadine Herbert, and currently competes 8 year old Bonita at Advanced and Prix Saint Georges.
A daughter of Grand Kavalier, 8 year old Bonita was bred at Mt Helena in WA by David Hodby and purchased by Colin as a weanling. Colin said, ‘She is a once in a lifetime horse, she has a fantastic attitude towards work and is a pleasure to have around. At home she is known as ‘the queen.’ Training with Di Jenkyn, and under the watchful eye of Nadine Mereweather, Bonita has enjoyed success in WA Young Dressage Horse Championships, and amongst other titles, has taken out State Titles in Elementary and Medium.
Imported from Germany, Royal Oak II has twice taken out Reserve National Champion of the 5 year old and 6 year olds at the Australian Young Dressage Horse Championships at Dressage with the Stars in Victoria. The stallion has also taken out a number of State Titles as a Dressage horse. Owner Kate Barton, said ‘From the beginning we have had very high aspirations for Royal Oak II and he has never failed to deliver. He is the most successful young dressage horse to ever come out of Western Australia.’
Sally Mayall has ridden at Wanneroo Pony Club for 9 years. She started out as a Show Horse rider, and first became really interested in Dressage several years ago when she spent time in Metten in Germany at a stable run by Grand Prix rider and trainer Alex Lambert. She purchased the Tasmanian bred mare, now rising 6 years, from Kate Barton, after Deon Stokes started her training. Based at her parents’ property, she has ridden Hollingrove Sunburst, her ’superstar’ for about 18 months. Sally hopes she can keep improving and is planning to compete Medium in the upcoming Summer Series.
Deb McNichol and Maria Schwennesen, Selectors for the Equestrian Australia High Performance Program, travelled Australia-wide, and viewed more than 150 talented horse/rider combinations for consideration for inclusion on the National Futures Squad. Each rider was asked to nominate a test and ride it. Riders were able to spend a few minutes familiarising their horse with the arena prior to starting their test. Sections of their assessment were videoed by EA, however filming of any other than their own assessment was not allowed for privacy reasons. Following their test, they were asked some questions by the assessors, some riders were asked to show more work at the level of the test, or to repeat sections of their test.
Eighteen horses from WA met the criteria and attended the Dressage Talent Identification Day on 16 August at the State Equestrian Centre in Western Australia.
Twenty-seven combinations were selected in total for the National Futures Squad. The 3 WA riders join 6 from NSW, 6 from Queensland and 5 from Victoria, as well as 3 from Tasmania and 3 from South Australia.
Horse and rider combinations from WA in the National Futures Squad will have the opportunity to train with top coaches at clinics organised in their home state through the EA High Performance Program. We wish all 3 riders every success with their training on these 3 wonderful horses.