Visit our Facebook Page
for our latest news
First big event for the month was the NSW State Dressage Champion Championships. Very successful with the following super results!
For Dave, Tarnya Notleys’ Johnny Depp, Medium Tour Reserve Champion with 2nd in both Intermediare A and B. Laura Summerhayes’ HV Her Highness took out Reserve Advanced Champion.
Then Mark Dowlings’ Woodside Lady Loxley was Preliminary Champion and Susie Claptons’ Daytona Joy was Novice Champion.
Robbie also had a great competition with Nicole Grooms’ Ramana Park Picasso Reserve Champion Preliminary Pony, Leanne and India Sheads Allengreen Medallist Champion Novice Pony and 3rd overall in the Elementary Championship. Natalie and Taylah Stuarts lovely Buckwell Park Gossip Girl also worked really well for an 8th overall in the Preliminary Championship
Then Razzamatazz won the Inter 11 and took 4th in the Grand Prix, with good scores!
Next was the NSW State Arabian Championships. Same venue as the State Dressage, this show was held at SIEC, in Horsley Park. We are so lucky to be just one hour from this super equestrian facility!
Entered were Lisa and Ash Fords Statford Phoenix (Nix), Natalie and Tahlah Stuarts Buckwell Park Gossip Girl (Bella), Emily Sharps San Churo (Charlie)and Viv Motbeys Wishlist (Harry).
Robbie and Nix won the Ridden Allbreeds Challenge and were Reserve Champion Ridden Arabian Warmblood.
Robbie and Bella Preliminary Dressage Champion, 1st Newcomer Arabian Warmblood, 1st Novice Arabian Warmblood, 3rd Preliminary Arabian Warmblood and 3rd Ridden Arabian Warmblood Mare. Emily and San Churo were Runner Up Young Horse. Harry and Robbie Champion Ridden Young Horse and he also won the Junior Halter Challenge.
Kirra Alder was also competing on Mystere MI. Mystere won the Novice Ridden purebred ridden by Kirra and placed in the Young horse and Preliminary classes.
The next week off to the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria with Eddie H-P and Heathmont Echo for the CDI-Y, Dave with HV Her Highness (Heidi) for the Advanced tests ( huge thank you to Brett Parbery for helping with her transport!) and Razzamatazz for Big Tour, and Danora doing her first big competition in the Novice/Elementary rings.
It was our first time to Boneo and what a super venue it is.
Eddie and Echo had solid performances with 4th, 2nd and 3rd in the CDI-Y tests for a great 3rd overall in the CDI-Y Championships.
Heidi won Advanced Champion winning both tests.
Razz started well getting 2nd in the Inter11, a bit spooky in the Grand Prix for 11th but much better in the freestyle coming up to 6th place.
Danora was very hot and spooky and didn’t really settle to do her best work until the last test when she cracked 71% and gained 3rd in the 3.2. Still managed 6th place overall in both the Novice and Elementary Championships. A big appreciative hug for Jane Hutton-Potts (Mumma Jane) for awesome culinary skills keeping the human team well fed!!
Other students competed at the National Capital Horse Show the same weekend.
Kirra and Mystere really starred with Supreme Ridden Exhibit ridden by Owner, took out Champion Ridden Purebred Novice and was Reserve Led Purebred Gelding.
Viv Moteby and Wishlist won Champion Newcomer of Show, Champion Snaffle Bit Maturity, and Supreme Senior Derivative.
On 7th sept we picked up a gorgeous new arrival - Labrador puppy from Greg and Rochelle King-Andrews who run Arrosser Labradors, as well as their busy equine training business
At the end of September we sadly said goodbye to our beloved Choci, pictured here with Abbie
July & August 2015
Lots happening this month on the coaching side! Two clinics in Canberra organised by Steph Daebaeker, first one with Robbie and second one with Robbie and Dave. Great group and showing super improvement in short time.
Ali has been down to Bega in mid July with the first day being affected by being snowed in at home and not getting away from the Southern Highlands on time!! Second clinic just missing the huge late August rains. Thanks to Deb Wheeler for her terrific organisation and hospitality! Lovely group of riders all dedicated and keen to improve.
The snow was amazing! We have never seen such heavy snow in the Highlands. The photos tell the story.
Robbie and Dave attended the Stefan Wolff clinic sponsored by Dressage NSW for the State Squad riders. A really interesting theory night was held by Stefan in Winsor too, and the clinic was very much appreciated with some good feedback from Steffan coaching Robbie on Razz, and Dave on HV Her Highness and Johnny Depp. Big thank you to DNSW for funding this clinic!
Miguel Tavora clinic was held late August and our students Eddie Hutton-Potts took Heathmont Echo, and Kirra Alder her Arabian, Mystere. Robbie took Danora. As always a clinic with a master trainer, who, without fail leaves the riders with super improvements and constructive homework.
Some new horses in the stables too getting ready for spring and summer competitions. Emily Sharp has two super rising 4 year olds, Arabian warmbloods and future YH class contenders.
Proud to say Tarnya Notleys, Johnny Depp and David were named on the EA National Recognition squad
General News 2015
Where do we start!
It has been a couple of years since our website has been updated and now with the help and a huge thank you to our friend, photographer and website designer Suz Worsley-Deacon, we are finally relaunching!
The last few years have seen us building and adding to our wonderful new property on Woodlands road near Mittagong. Trees have been planted, gardens prepared and more fencing added. Ever a work in progress! We started with a blank canvas and we are thrilled with the way the property is coming together.
From the middle of 2013 we were able to begin taking horses for training and to coach from home. We currently have 8/9 stabled horses and a number of paddocked horses in training.
Dave and Robbie have some exceptional horses in work, and the support of some terrific owners. See more on the horses tab about our current horses, and past stars.
Ali, Robbie and Dave have talented and dedicated riders working hard and advancing with great results through the ranks, both in the dressage arena and show ring. Not to forget students who may not want to be so competitive but ride to learn how to train their horses well, and the pleasure that comes from that journey.
We also have developed a great team of people around us to assist us in achieving the best from our horses and riders. See more on the Our Team tab.
Over the years we have had some wonderful sponsors!
Long time ones were Kim and Steve Spencer from Saddleworld Mittagong. We thank them for their support and interest and love visiting their new premises and beautiful shop in Mittagong.
Current sponsors Elka Fischer from Equine Performance and Wellbeing, and Melissa Widdis from Fortissimo Freestyles have been supporting us for many years .
More recently we have joined Prydes Feeds team having been long time users of their outstanding feeds. Also thank you to Paula Jeffries of Performance Saddlefits, recently fitting Razzamatazz, Echo and Daytona Joy with the super Erreplus Dressage saddles.
Finally to reflect our new direction we have changed the name of our business to Robali Equestrian and hence changed our logo. David has a new logo designed for his business and we are looking forward to using these in our future marketing.
Hope you enjoy our new look website. Feedback is most welcome.
David, Robbie and Ali
This month has begun with the NSW Young Rider Championships at Clarendon. Our students attending were Eddie Hutton Potts, and newer recruits to this level of dressage India Shead, and Georgie Williamson.
Eddie and Echo produced two good tests. PSG she placed 3rd with 62.632% on Friday, and the next day a super Inter 1 at only her 3rd ride through this test to move into 2nd place with 66.974%. When we consider that Eddie and Echo only began their dressage career a year ago at Medium level this really is an outstanding effort!!
Dave’s young student Georgia Williamson and Braefort Park Secret Show, produced two super tests to win her division 68.077% in 1.2 and 69.022% in the 1.3. She took out Preliminary YR Pony Champion .
Robbie and Ali’s student India Shead and Buckton Sundown was consistent with 2 novice tests 4th 65.071% and 5th 64.83% and 4th overall in the strong Novice YR Pony Championship.
We are so proud of you all! We guide you but it is your hard work and dedication that reap rewards!
The following weekend was another big competition with the Clarendon Winter Festival, a three day affair with huge entries and many of NSW top riders entered.
Results as follows:
Intermediare A 62.569% 3rd (5)
Intermedaire B 65.00% 3rd (5)
This was a step up to Medium Tour for this pair so Tarnya and Scott Notley were very proud owners, and Dave and Johnny will continue to compete at this level leading to Nationals at the end of the year.
HV Her Highness
PSG 67.465% 4th (28)
Again a stepping up a level, this was a super percentage and placing in a huge class ! Owner Laura Summerhayes and Dave really pleased with this beautiful mare.
Novice 2.2 73.286% 2nd (28)
Novice 2.3 70.517% 3rd (28)
Reserve Champion Novice Open Division 2
What great scores for a really stunning big mare in huge classes. Very well deserved result for owner Susie Clapton and Dave.
Woodside Lady Loxley
Novice 2.2 70.500% 3rd (28)
Novice 2.3 72.759% 2nd (28)
This delightful moving mare owned by Mark Dowling, long time friend and supporter of Dave worked beautifully in only her 2nd ever competition, gaining great scores for third overall in the Novice Championship in a huge class.
Inter 11 67.368% 1st (4)
Grand Prix 67.033% 1st (4)
FEI Big Tour Champion
Wonderful results with Robbie and Razz really gaining in strength and confidence!!
Robbie also rode Buckwell Park Gossip Girl owned by Natalie and Taylah Stuart in her first Novice events. She was a well behaved young lady (she is 4 years old) and her scores were good, but hard to compete in such strong field.
PSG 66.053% 6th (28)
A personal best score and only 2 places behind Dave in class of 28!!
Inter 1 60.877% 12th (18)
Eddie and Echo had very early and freezing cold start for this test and judges were very divided with two putting her around 7th out of 18 and the third judge placing her way down!! This happens in our sport - Eddie just so thrilled with her score the day before especially as so new to this level of competition.
A quieter month with Robbie and Dave completing their Level 2
NCAS Riding Certificate, and also their EA NCAS Level 1 Coaching.
Ali headed for Bega to hold a clinic and met many new students on some lovely horses. Huge thank you to Deb Wheeler for organising this group and her hospitality!
This is the second big dressage competition for us for the year.
To enter this event the horse/rider combinations of Robbie and Dave and their team of horses have attended many smaller club competitions to gain qualifying scores.
Again good results against the best in Australia.
PSG 65.33% 11th (28)
Inter 1 66.13% 8th (26)
Inter 1 F/S 68.63% 5th (15)
HV Her Highness
Advanced 5.3 65.97% 11th (30)
Advanced 5.2 67.81% 3rd (30)
Advanced F/S 69.37% 5th (15)
GP 66.10% 14th (25)
GP F/S 66.00% 12th(15)
Robbie also rode Buckwell Park Gossip Girl owned by Natalie and Taylah Stuart in the Young Horse classes in the huge 4 year old class.
She went through in the first round and was 4th overall just missing getting into the final by the smallest of margins.
Again Eddie and Echo steadily improved from 11th in the Team test to 7th in the Individual and 9th in the freestyle with 63.47%.
So all round a good show, nothing outstanding but scores reflecting the progress of all the horses in their training and strength development.
Sydney Royal Show
This year no showing for us as Robbie had the honour of judging all the Girl and Lady Rider classes. So some shopping for glamorous outfits and no breeches for her this year! This was an experience Robbie thoroughly enjoyed and felt extremely honoured to be nominated for the task!
Equestrian Australia HOTY Show at SIEC is the show that qualifies horses and/or rider to represent the state of NSW at the EA Nationals in Werribee at the end of the year. In a huge class of more than 25 riders Robbie Soster and Edwina Hutton Potts were declared Champion and Reserve Champion rider over 18. One very proud coach Ali Soster!
Robbie also rode Anna Kings, Ainsley Mystic Jewel in the Small hunter hack. Jock was last years winner of this event but it was not our year this year.
Statford Phoenix was Top Ten in the large hack and 3rd overall
and to our newest recruit student Lauren Wheeler and DP Impressions, Reserve Champion Large Hack.
Dave also competed Susie Claptons Fairmont in the large hunter hack championship and was awarded Top 10 and 3rd overall. A Fantastic Show!
So the girls now will represent NSW at the end of the year down in Melbourne
Last year (2014) Eddie was declared Grand National Champion Rider 2014 in Werribee! The year before the National Champion Rider 2013 was won by Robbie! So we have set the bar high for the rider class event this year with both girls qualifying!!
A few weeks later were the Show Horse Councils, Grand Nationals, a big show judged by English judges. Interestingly these judges do not judge rider classes in England as they do not exist over there so the Rider Championships are always interesting.
Top 10 for Eddie and Echo
Top Ten and Smartest on Parade(3rd) to Robbie and Razz.
Long time student and team member Edwina Hutton-Potts competed the lovely Heathmont Echo at Pacific Coast Hack Championships and took out HM Garlands Champion Rider after winning her 17 and Under 21 age class. Lovely to see Brynn Clarke on Humphrey Bear win her classes – a handsome fellow we had in our stables for a year and sold on to Brynn.
Then it is time for the first big CDI Dressage event of the year and one of our favourites, Dressage With Altitude up at Orange. This is a hard one as the horses usually have a quiet time in January and are only just back into solid dressage training in early February.
Results were solid though.
Johnny Depp HV Her Highness
PSG 67.65% 4th Advanced 5.1 65.76% 5th
Inter 1 66.57% 6th Advanced 5.2 68.05% 5th
Inter F/S 69.5% 4th Advanced F/S 69.05% 3rd
Grand Prix 61.92% 14th
GP Freestyle 67.85% 9th
were at their first young rider CDI-Y outing gained in confidence and worked up from 9th in the Team test, to 7th in the Individual to 4th in the freestyle with her super Harry Potter themed music.
A week later it was off to Canberra Royal with Statford Phoenix ridden by Robbie to win the large Ladies Hack class and be declared Champion Novice Horse of the Canberra Royal!
The year began with Robbie showing Statford Phoenix aka Nix (Lisa and Ash Ford) and Mystere MI aka Sparkles (Kira Alder) at the East Coast Arabian Championships at SIEC. Great results with Nix winning Arabian Warmblood under Saddle and going on to take out Champion of Champions in the Arabian Derivative ring, and Top five in the East Coast Cup. Mystere was Reserve Champion 3/ 4 year Old Under saddle and placed in the dressage ridden by Kira.
Some of our older news:
We have purchased and developed a new 30 acre property just a couple of kilometres from our old address.
We are at 119 Woodlands Road, Woodlands near Mittagong. Phone number and postal address remain the same and it is best to contact us on our mobiles for now.
We have a beautiful new stable block and a 44 x 20 soiltex indoor arena, with a larger outside arena and trotting track around the property.
As of April 2013 we are taking a limited number of horses for training, and we are continuing to coach and train riders who have their own horses.
Our riders team are doing sensationlly well this year!! Robbie has taken out the EA Grand Nationals Supreme rider award, won the Novice Lady Rider at Sydney Royal on a borrowed mount (with another Student Ellie Rocca, also on a borrowed horse 8th in the same class) and then Robbie took out EA NSW Rider over 18 Champion.
Thea Horsley a long time and dedicated student has been first and second in her dressage on two different horses at both her last eventing starts! Very proud of her.
October 2010: Australian Dressage Championships 2010
Returning just 3 weeks before from Europe, it was ambitious to attend this event but the horses had qualified earlier in the year and were accepted so we thought we’d give it a shot!
Viviano had returned to Nick and Regina whilst Robbie had been on holiday and was not returning so Razz and Skippy were starters, and performed well.
Highlights for Robbie were her 3rd in the Advanced Freestyle (69.5% with one judge having her in first) and a super PSG in the indoor. Unfortunately, in this test she was first down the centreline of 34 starters at 8.00am and the five judges were scattered in their final placing with 5th, 6th and 7th (super and what we felt it deserved!) but 2 others had Razz 16th and 18th!
Skippy had an ordinary first test being very distracted and inattentive but improved for 65+% in the second so he was forgiven.
Overall, fair efforts all round!
July 2010:Young Rider Championships
This was to be the last ever Young Rider Championships for both Robbie and Dave and so we were all looking forward to this competition, but with mixed feelings.
Robbie competed in her first ever Young Rider Championships in 2003 at Bathurst and has grown so much along with the development of the young rider programme in both Dressage NSW and Nationally. She had not missed this competition since and has had wonderful success along the way with Robali Irish Cream, Robali Royal Salute, Robali Razzamatazz, Evergreen Jemima, Viviano and Robali Odyssey. All have been either Champion or Reserve State Champions throughout the years at various levels from Preliminary to FEI!!
Razz was working very well at Advanced and the competition became a duel between Megan Bryan and Donnabella , Elliot Patterson and Leandro and Robbie and Razz in the 2 Advanced tests. He was 1st and 2nd in the tests, good enough to give him NSW Advanced Champion! A wonderful way for him to finish in Young Riders as he had been NSW Elementary Champion in 2008 and NSW Medium Champion in 2009! He then won the Advanced Freestyle with 71.250%. As always a huge thank you to Mel from Fortissimo for her patience and last minute fine-tuning of our freestyles.
Viviano was super in the PSG outside and was 2nd with Razz close behind in 4th. Sadly the indoor in the Inter1 got the better of Viviano and tension spoilt his test.
Odyssey (Skippy) worked consistently and ended up 4th overall in the Novice Championships, and did a super Freestyle for 2nd! Thanks again to Mel!
Finally, last but not least Dave. He was 3rd and 4th in the Elementary tests on Woodside Lumiere and 3rd overall in the Elementary Championship. On CJP Donnerkohl (kindly lent to Dave by Mark Dowling) he was 4th in the FEI YR individual test and 3rd in the FEI Freestyle to music.
Then the best fun of all the Pas De Deux! Dave and Robbie partnered Razz and Harvey to the tune of Moulin Rouge. Reserve Champions in that too!
We are all so grateful to all the committees and organisers of these super events over the years. They will be remembered forever!
Last YRs for Alexis, Robbie, Dave and Jess. pictured with the wonderful Flora Robson
Jess on Argyle, Robbie on Razz, Ashley on Minty
and Alexis on Wacca in the quadrille, the night time entertainment!
January 2010: Evergreen Jamima and her new home
Evergreen Jamima, the lovely horse we recently sold to WA, has been to her first few outings with her new rider Sarah. They competed in an indoor arena amongst open company and were awarded seventh place with a score of 65%. Congratulations Sarah! We are so glad you and Jamima are becoming a wonderful team and hope to hear more great results in the future.
December 09: Amanda Wood's Ladies Group poem
Amanda keeps her horse, Paddy, with us here at Robali and is a member of our Ladies Group. We had a lovely end of year Christmas Lunch where Amanda presented this poem. (It has been tradition for a while in Ladies that if any member enjoys an event or does well at a competition they write a poem about it and read it at the following ladies ride). Amanda made this poem to finish the year and all within a few hours. What even more amazing is how she has captured the exact personalities of all the horses of Robali Stud and the Ladies Group.
2009 Ladies' Club Christmas Poem
T'was the night before Christmas
And all through the stable
The ladie's club horses rested
As best they were able.
And Ali in her kerchief
And Robbie in her cap
Had just gone to their beds
For a long deserved nap.
When out in the paddock
There arose such a clatter,
They sprang from their beds
To see what was the matter!
When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
The Ladies club horses all drinking beers!
There was Poppyfields Tasman,
froth in mouth, saying "I am the best!"
Won everything at Chev. gymkhana
Judge didn't notice the rest!
"Well" piped up Piper
"You mongrel of a thing!
Have you seen my pedigree???
I'm bred like a king!"
"Oh you gasbag" sneered Glendon Brae Harmony holding up her mirror.
"With everything I've won, my pricetag is alot dearer!"
Mardi at this point couldn't hold back anymore.
"Listen you old bags
next year I'm going to wipe you with the floor!"
"I'm fancy and good looking in all of my tack.
I'll win everything if I don't have a heart attack!"
A.A Gabriel and Worburn Abbey rolled around,their sides splitting with laughter
listening to these silly hacks and the booby prizes they chase after.
"We eventers don't wear make up you bloody poofs.
we're the real deal so have a look
at our back hoofs!"
"Now now" said Freddy (Mr. OH SO POLITE)
"There really is no need to get into a fight.
It's Christmas time and we should all spread some cheer.
And by the way I placed 6th at Berrima
or didn't you hear?"
"There you go Freddy" said VVF Allenby
"You couldn't help yourself getting that in!"
"I went to Bowral and I actually did win!"
Max and Paddy just rolled their eyes.
If they were to weigh into the argument,
they would both use their size!
Max grabbed another beer
Opening it with his teeth.
Paddy just swallowed the entire thing whole,
It was beyond all belief!
(Time out while vet comes to extract bottle from Paddy)
Now watching from the sidelines
Making fun of the others behinds their backs with glee
Was the neurotic Viviano and the talented Razzy!
Check this out (as he heavily pounded the ground) I'm Paddy, Mr. Thunderthighs
with crocodile tears rolling out of his eyes!
No, no look at me said Viv as he displayed a pixie straightlegged trot
Guess who I am, I'm Harmony the hacky little snot!
"OH wait! Oh wait" said Razz buckjumping and to fleeing in horror at everything he saw
"I'm the wimpy thoroughbred Marty having a ball!"
The two boys carried on continuing their charades.
Their comical performances making up quite the parade!
"I can do piroettes and half pass" neighed Viv.
"Check out my ground covering trot" squealled Razz
"I really know how to live!"
So the boys side stepped and danced all over the clover.
Pitty they didn't notice the puddle
And onto their backsides they slipped over!
With mud now splattered on their muzzles and bums
The ladies club horses looked to see what they'd done.
The sight of their idols covered in dirt, grass and beer
Made them all laugh and boy did they cheer!
Razz and Viv were humbled at last.
Vivi's gone to therapy
For this trauma to get past!
As the sun slowly began to rise,
The horses came to agreement that they all really try.
If it weren't for Ali, Robbie and of course dear Steph to keep us on track
To the paddock we'd all be happily sent back.
So here's to a marvellous year with Ladies and our horses,
we come in all breeds and sizes
It really is horses for courses!
December 09: Thank you!
Robbie, Ali and Robali Stud would like to thank all our wonderful helpers and sponsors for such a great year! Thank you to Steph for every bit of what she does with us, she works non-stop and is a wonderful girl to have on our team.
Thank you, Regina and Nick for their wonderful support in both sponsoring me with Horsewerks and being such great owners and friends!
Thank you –
Capricorn Soiltex and Lou Verwey
Fortissimo Freestyles and Mel Widdis
Natural Mobility /Tecknyflex and Ashley Jankowski
Elka Fisher and Di Jenkins with their massage therapy
It is very much appreciated and I hope I can give you back as much as you have all given Me!
December 30th 2009: Christmas Party and Lindy Babb’s Birthday Party!
Thank you everyone for such a wonderful night! Our fantastic friend and all round handyman Cyril Condon played live music for us to enjoy.
There was plenty of food, drinks, laughs and great dancing through out the night and at one stage a few tears as well. Gracie was presented to Lindy officially, so many were a bit over whelmed.
In a last minute dash, Grace was prepped and looking beautiful in her new engraved halter courtesy of the Ladies group!
It was a lovely night for all of us and thank you for coming. Sorry it was such late notice! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Lindy and Grace and Members of the ladies group who attended the party
December 21st 2009: Happy 20th Birthday Dave
December 2009: Congratulations!
After a few rides, our very own Ladies Club member, Lindy Babb has purchased Lady of Grace. Something between the two just clicked and they are now becoming the best of friends. Well-done Lindy! We hope you have a ball with her.
December 09: Bowral Christmas Dressage 13th
The Christmas Dressage competition, as always, was a great day out for all of Robali Studs students. Results were wonderful as were all the costumes, with tinsel, baubles and colourful outfits amongst all of us. Amongst the list were many of our ladies group, Annette Hill, Lindy Babb, Chris Cady and Cath Strudwick as well as two of our young team Mia and Sasha Kroopin and Dave and I rode as well.
Some results were as follows:
Annette and Harmony – 2C – 5th
Chris Cady and Squeak – 2C – 1st with a 64%
Mia and Sadaq – 1B – 1st and 1C 2nd
Sasha and Dee Dee – Prep 2 – 4th
Sasha and Twinkle – Prep 2 – 5th
Dave and Lumiere – 3C – 1st with a 64% and 3B 3rd
And Nemo and I – 2B 2nd and 2C 1st with a 62%
Nemo and I also had a Christmas Freestyle, which my friend and sponsor Mel Widdis kindly made up for us the week before the competition. Rudolf, Let it snow and a song about riding in a sleigh and bells all featured in the freestyle and it was great fun!
Sasha was also the runner up in the junior fancy dress competition. She was wearing a colourful saddlecloth with tinsel sown to it as well as a bright T-shirt! Well-done Sash!
Well done everyone for your results and fun attitudes on the day. Was a lovely day out!
November 09: National Capital Stud Show 28 29th
This was possibly the show Robali Stud will remember most from 2009. Again we had four horses, two babies out for their 2nd outings. They were Lady of Grace and Robali Reflection and the two old hands Robali Razzamatazz and Imoan Sadaq.
We drove down on the Friday and prepped Sadaq for his first class, the feature horse Senior Halter Challenge. The feature horse classes are “any breed, sex and height” and are split into four sections, senior halter (horses over 6), Junior Halter, Senior Ridden And Junior Ridden. Sadaq’s class had some lovely horses in it, all led by professionals and we were really thinking we had to get out there and give it a try but without too many expectations. Well, forget the expectations, Sadaq won! Mia screaming from the side was very pleased as were the rest of us! Had the show gone down from there we still would have left on a high! The show however did not go down hill at all!
On Saturday, Mia had four youth classes with Sadaq, Reflection had her led Anglo Arabian, Grace had led warmblood mare and ridden warmblood mare and Razzamatazz had led Warmblood Gelding and Ridden Warmblood gelding. All in all, one hectic morning. Steph, my wonderful friend and groom, was working like a bullet prepping horses as we showed them.
Results were as follows, Mia and Sadaq, placed in every class no lower than fourth. Well done Mia, second show! Can’t wait for the tenth one! Can only get better!
Robali Razzamattazz & Robbie winning the Senior Ridden Challenge
Reflection - 1st led Anglo Mare and Reserve Champion anglo. Grace - 2nd led warmblood mare and 2nd ridden warmblood mare. And Razzamatazz was 1st led warmblood gelding and champion led warmblood and 1st ridden gelding and champion ridden warmblood! We were thrilled with all the horses!
On Saturday night was the senior ridden challenge with Sadaq and Razzamatazz. Sadaq worked first and was a little looky at the crowd beside the arena. He worked well all the same with one hesitation in the strike off into canter. Razzamatazz warmed up beautifully. I presented to the judges confidently and set off on the workout with gusto! Pity it disappeared the second Razz saw the crowd! He was very worried and only just made it around the workout! At one stage he spooked, did a 180 and headed the other way very quickly. I was so disappointed! It was just terrifying for him! So I hopped on Sadaq for the presentation, expecting him to place better out of the two, if at all!
Imoan Sadaq & Robbie
So there we are, Dave holding Razz in the line and me next to him on Sadaq. Going through from 8th to 1st….5th, 4th, 3rd all very nice horses! No chance surely. I relax my reins and sit sort of slumped in the saddle. “And second place goes to Imoan Sadaq!” Woohoo, we trot out and get our ribbon. Could not be happier! “And the winner of the 2009 senior ridden challenge, number 3…..4……9” The number plays through my head. Wait I know that number. It RAZZ!!!! Dave takes a minute then realises he’s holding the winner! He looks surprised and walks forward! I sheepishly swap horses, apologising that I was on the wrong one to the judges. What a fantastic night. Obviously our two stars looked better than they felt. The judges also commented on the education and movement of both horses, and they could not help but over look the glitches. I was so proud.
Finally on Sunday, the young horses were back on. Reflection in her ridden derivative classes and Grace in her small hacks. Reflection, although the youngest and greenest by far, was placed first in both her novice and intermediate class. The workout being quite a challenge with a canter to halt, rein back and a lengthen trot and canter, which to our surprise she did with ease, even though she had never heard of these aids before. What a good girl. She was placed Reserve champion out of all derivatives.
Grace was a delight to ride and dealt with the flapping tent near the arena very well. She placed second in her novice, intermediate and open and was reserve champion small hack.
This show was a fantastic experience. Thank you to everyone who helped!
Winning smiles all round!
November 09: National Arabian Stud Horse Show 19, 20, 21, 22nd.
The Robali team had four horses attend the Arabian Stud Horse Show this year. Over four days of competition, we competed in almost 20 classes with great success.
Robali Reflection was out for her first show, and considering, she was very well behaved and seemed like an old hat at it. She won her Novice Anglo Arabian and went into the indoor the next day for the Best Novice. Although a little tense she worked a treat for such a baby, (after all, she had only been under saddle for three months!)
Other Team Horses were;
Warrawee Mardee Gras, who placed 1st and 2nd in the Dressage, 2nd in the Open Anglo Arabian and worked the house down in the Baskhan to gain a 10th place in a field of very good horses! Thanks Deb for letting me ride your beautiful boy.
Warrawee Mardee Gras in the Baskhan
Glendon Brae Nemo placed 2nd in all his hunter classes against all the big warmbloods! Thank you Warren and Carol.
Glendon Brae Nemo
Finally, I come to the new addition to the team, Imoan Sadaq. Sadaq did very well winning Reserve Champion led Arabian Geld, 1st in both Intermediate and Open ridden Arabians, and with his new young rider Mia Kroopin on board, placed either 2nd or 3rd in all the ridden youth classes. But in the Youth Handler, and after Mia’s quick lesson on how to present Sadaq at halter, they took out Champion Junior Handler! Woohoo! Well-done Mia. After only three weeks to get to know your horse! Brilliant!
Well-done Robali Stud Team! Thankyou to everyone who helped!
November 2009: Macquarie Bank Hack Championships! 14, 15th
Wow… What a weekend for horses from Robali! Three horses all that started their careers under Robbie qualified for the Grand Nationals at SIEC in March!
The show involved three sections of Judging, starting with height classes, then a semi final with all the horses who placed in the first round, followed by the final in the afternoon of all the horses that place in the semi final.
Razzamatazz had three great sections and was awarded Champion Show Hunter Hack! He worked Beautifully!
Natasha Reynolds who now rides Warren Pratley’s Glengarrieff (aka Ted) has been having a few lessons with Robbie and did very well with the sometimes nervous Ted.
Tash and Ted, after a very lovely work out were awarded Reserve Champion Hack. It was such a thrill for us all!
Jessica Stalling now shows Glendon Brae Oscar, also owned by Warren. He looked a million dollars and after only a few weeks with Jess was awarded Reserve Champion Galloway Hack.
Well done to all and it is lovely for Robali to see some of the horses they have trained go to great people and do so well. Well done and we will see you at Grand Nationals!
October 2009: National Dressage Championships 29,30,31 and 1st
This year Nationals was quite nice and orderly. I had Razz in the Med on Sat along with Viviano in the PSG. And then on Sun I had them both in the advanced tests. It all seemed to be a smooth ride, with even some extra time on Friday to watch some tests! I really enjoyed this, especially as I sat with Carolyn Lieutenant who discussed and marked the horses as they came in. I learnt a lot sitting with her!
On Saturday Razz was not on his best behaviour and spent a lot of time resisting and generally playing with me. Viviano did a clean test with no major mistakes in the PSG but was a little tense as he can be in his first test of the weekend. Both horses stood in about midfield!
On Sunday we settled into a better rhythm. Razz was third in both his tests, a result I was thrilled about as it was only his 4th and 5th ever advanced tests. Viv delivered one good test and was 5th and another good but slightly tense test, which I felt, was harshly marked! The comp also had one huge surprise and highlight when Viviano and I were announced as the winners of the YR Cinderella Award for 2009. This means we were awarded the highest score in the CDI –Y for the year, which was a great thrill! Thank you Claudia Harper for the donation of the beautiful trophy, rug and money! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it and I feel truly blessed to have won such a prestigious award. Thank You!
I also want to thank all the organisers of the 2009 AUS Dressage Champs, as it was again a very enjoyable show. Thank you to the sponsors for supporting such a great competition and contributing both money and time for us riders; it couldn’t happen without you.
October 2009: Australian Institute of Sport Clinic 19 – 22nd
After a busy weekend between SIEC and Clarendon it was nice for the horses to have a few quiet days at home. However, I was off to Canberra to participate in three days of push-ups, sit ups, sprints, ice baths and education about becoming a true athlete!
It was extremely enjoyable, even with all the hard work and aching muscles. We learnt how our Aussie athletes train and prepare themselves both mentally and physically. We had a nutritional talk where we realised how much energy we use and how and what to eat to keep energy levels up. We never drink enough water either, and it was very fascinating!
We also had Jon Pitts, who works with the British Olympic team, teach us exercises to do on fit balls and all about core strength and stability. Boy, never thought I’d see so many young athletes go flying across the room after attempting to kneel on a fit ball. That was great fun.
We also had a fitness inspection and BMI tests. They get these tweezer things and pinch your body all over! Its different to just calculations. We also went to the gym and did a beep test, and saw how many push ups in 60sec and sit ups in 60 secs we could do. We also had suppleness and hamstring measurements. All of us walked away feeling exhausted! We also had a ice bath (sharing with Jana Rawlinson the Hurdler) which was an experience and a half. Ice baths stop lactic acid from making your muscles sore and help the repair of damaged or tired muscles. The process involves getting from one warm pool at about spar temp to a ice bath…. IT’S FREEZING! Everyone had blue lips. Did help the sore muscles though!
I believe they are going to start a equestrian program permanently (we were like guinea pigs, it has not been run before for equestrians.) It will be offered to squad members and I think it will make us much better athletes. It’s one thing looking after the horse, but there are two athletes to consider when you do horse riding! Thanks EFA for organising such a wonderful week. I really loved it and learnt a lot! Robs
The Equestrian group that attended the AIS
July 2009: National Young Riders at SIEC
What can we say!!! This competition had highs and lows too, but the highs far outweighed the lows!! Viviano took out both State Young Rider and National Young Rider Advanced Champion and Razzamatazz earned both State and National Medium Champion. Wow – were we excited! But equally wonderful for us was Evergreen Jamima’s Reserve State and Reserve National Preliminary titles! Owned by Prue Spurrett this lovely Holsteiner mare only just had the 3 scores to qualify for this event, so her lack of experience meant we were not expecting a lot from her. She worked beautifully and really thrilled us with her win.
Dave McKinnon (Robbie’s partner) 1st in the 16 and over Scholarship class on Mark Dowling’s lovely Carbine mare, Woodside Lumiere was also the result of a really polished performance, in presentation, test riding ability and technical know how.
Dave and Robbie also won the Pas De Deux to the theme of Grease Lightening, which was fun, fun, and fun!! What an outrageous costume with Dave dressed up as Danny and Robbie as Sandy! Congratulations too, to our little 11 yr old student Mia Kroopin who had her first ride in a big competition where she had to learn all her tests (no callers!) and she rode really well. We were proud of her. Also, Warren Pratleys lovely galloway Nemo, had his first big comp and performed well in the first test but had a little bit of cheek in the second test!
The downside was still that dreaded indoor with both Vivi and Razz still finding the indoor atmosphere daunting and working way below their best in their freestyles!
So for now, a busy few weeks working on our young stock for sale (check out our sales page!), before the trek to Tamworth and the State Titles!
May 2009: Sydney CDI, SIEC
After the first two qualifiers of the CDI-Y and other outings to Clarendon and Bowral Viviano was working better and better at home and gradually settling out and about. But there was that dreaded Indoor and we really didn’t know what to expect of him!
The Individual test out doors was super and showed the sort of work we know he can do, so it was a thrill to win this test.
The warm up before the freestyle was good, but this still never tells us how he will cope once through the gates to the inside atmosphere. I don’t think the support team breathed whilst Robbie and Vivi performed their test to music (theme being “put on a happy face,” which we feel is rather appropriate!)
Vivi was giving his best, more confident in Robbie’s guidance and, as a result it was the best test indoor he’d done so far so everyone was delighted with him!! And he won too so that was even better!!
April 2009: Victorian Young Rider Championships Werribee (and again!!)
This time we took Viviano and Razzamatazz. Razz is fairly laid back and worked really well to win the Medium Championship and the Medium Freestyle to Music so we couldn’t have been happier with him!
Viviano was happy to have his stable mate with him and seemed more settled in general but a different and spookier outdoor arena for the Individual test rattled him and his first test of the competition was very tense and way below his best work. The atmosphere in the indoor once again created major problems for Vivi and so the CDI-Y results were disappointing.
On the last day was the Advanced Championship and once again his first test for the day was still tense. By this stage Robbie was a bit “over” him and would probably have left him behind in Victoria for anyone who wanted him!! So finally the last test of the comp arrived and he had a bottler for nearly 70%!! Just remembering to spook once on the last turn down the centre line!!! This earned him enough points for the Reserve Champion Advanced title so, for now, all was forgiven!
March 2009: Australian Arabian Championships, Werribee
A long drive for a couple of classes, thanks Deb for doing this! Robbie flew down after Deb and met both horse and owner at the venue. We were a little worried as Mardi seemed slightly off colour and we were feeling such a big trip for a relatively baby horse might have been too much. However, Mardi perked up the following day and was worked, with the occasional frisky moments! The following days showed us all was fine with the young gelding and it was all worthwhile as Mardi worked beautifully and won Reserve Champion in the Novice dressage and Champion Ridden Anglo Gelding.
Warrawee Mardee Gras
March 2009: Dressage with the Stars, Werribee (again!)
We were on a mission to see how Viviano would go this year in the CDI-Y tests. Although he and Robbie had only been together for 9 months, he had had his first PSG starts and was working well at home. However he is very timid when extended outside his comfort zone and, in the atmosphere of the Indoor arenas we knew that with his previous owner he had been very, very nervous. So another long drive for a couple of classes but we looked on this as a training outing to see what to expect from him and how he would cope! Sure enough tension was our biggest enemy although he still won the Individual test outside and earned a second in the freestyle in the big indoor, so we were pleased with him, but realized there was a lot work to be done.
February 2009: Official Opening of Bowral DC and Ladies Club Musical Quadrille
Our Ladies Club
The ladies rode their first quadrille to music as guests at the opening of the new Bowral Dressage Club grounds to music titled “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and they did just that!!
January 2009: Australian Youth Olympics
Initially twelve riders were selected from all over Oz, then after some clinics, it was six and finally the last four were selected, Bella Robson, Tori Welsh, myself and Jess Robinson as reserve. In this time we had months of training which involved many hot riding lessons on strange horses with different buttons, running the dressage tests on foot because we were not doing the PPP (Prepare Position Perform) well enough, steering our friends around the tests with bridles around their middles and laughs at test discussion time when odd answers were given. It was the experience and dressage learning curve of a lifetime!
The event finally came and more good times were to come. We lived with many other athletes from other countries in the Macquarie University College. We all ate together in the Dining Hall, and it was amazing to mingle with the best athletes from Hockey, Cycling, Swimming and Equestrian to name a few. We lived exactly as the Olympians do in the real deal. AMAZING! We went to the Opening Ceremony and the feeling of representing Australia as a part of a huge athletic team finally sunk in.
Over the next two days we trained on our random, pulled out of a hat, horses and gradually got enough buttons to do some ok tests. My horse, Cedar Lodge Titian was a sensitive TB ex eventer who had been brought back into work the month before, after a long spell, to help fill the shortage of loan horses. We competed in the Individual test first which really was just a “get to know them session”. Tori won her test and Bella and I were around the 6th and 7th mark. I was very happy with my horse as he performed a PB (Personal Best).
On the Saturday was the teams test and the Sunday the freestyle.
Tori won both tests again and Bella and I again, mid field. My horse got better and better as I got to know him and he got to know me. He settled down to do a great freestyle, which as always, was the best part of the competition!
All in all a super result as we received the Silver Medal once our scores were combined. WOW! Olympic silver Medallists!
Thanks to Glennis Barrey for teaching us so much, and Jenny Carroll and Ryan Worthington for keeping all of us so cool, calm and collected. Tori and Bell, thanks for making the competition so much fun and being great team mates, and thanks to everyone who organised the competition or loaned their horses. It was a wonderful experience.
© 2018 Robali Equestrian & McKINNON SPORT HORSES
Website built and maintained by swd images
Photos courtesy of Main Event Photography, SWD IMages, Lorelle Mercer, Manual Vicente, Stephen Mowbray, Toni Venhaus, Laura Purvis colquhaun, Angie Rickard, Desharla pet pawtraits, foxwood photography, rivendell photography