Ryan Reclaims AUS Dressage Championship

Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi were crowned the 2010 Bates Australian Dressage Grand Prix Champions last Sunday at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre, Horsley Park.

It has been a tough road back to the top for Ryan who was the Australian champion in 2008, but suffered a stroke in May 2009.

“It was hard, I was not even placing,” Ryan commented on his performances since his stroke, “I thought my horses were letting me down, but now I realise I was letting them down.  I was not operating at full capacity and at this level everyone is at their best.”

Ryan, 52, won Saturday night’s the Hamilton Island CDI-W Freestyle on a count-back.  His score, 70.300%, was equal with Victorian rider Gitte Donvig on Port Said 10.  On a count back of the artistic scores, Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi scrapped in as the winner. The crowd were thrilled to see Heath Ryan back in his true form.

Mary Hanna, placed third in the Freestyle on her new horse, nine-year-old gelding Sancette (by Sandro Hit) formerly ridden by American Steffen Peters.  Hanna scored 67.450%.

Ryan and Regardez Moi also won Friday’s Goldin Grand Prix (66.383%) and Sunday’s Australian Sports Commission Grand Prix Special (65.625 %) making it a clean sweep of the Grand Prix classes to earn him the 2010 Australian Grand Prix Championship title.

Ryan, a highly accomplished Eventing rider, is aiming for London Olympic Games in both Eventing and Dressage.  “I thought I was done, but things are coming together in both disciplines and I will be having a good crack at both teams for London,” he said after his Grand Prix win on Saturday.

The International Horse Breeders Novice Champion for 2010 was won by Matthew Dowsley (NSW) on Donner Meyer and Reserve Champion went to Brett Parbery (NSW) on PPH Zeppelin.

The Wagner’s Saddlery Elementary Championship went to Teresa Grills on Ecclesbourne.  Reserve Elementary Champion was Nicole Tough (Qld) on Flavio.

The Hanoverian Society of Australia Medium Championship title went to Rodney Martin (NSW) with the beautiful Weekend Feeling and Reserve Champion to Nicole Tough on Flavio.

The EJ &Co Advanced Champions were Tor Van Den Berge (Qld) and Lauries As, ahead of second placegetter Nicole Tough and Dante.

The Needs for Steeds Prix St Georges had 35 competitors, including some of the top competitors of Saturday’s Prix St Georges Challenge. Kate Taylor-Wheat (NSW) won on World Star.  Runner-up was young rider Megan Bryant (NSW) on Donabella.

Congratulations to all the winners and placegetters.

For full results please see www.dressagensw.com.au