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A moment with ........ Meila Picard,  selected to attend the SI  YR Talent ID Camp

"I attended the SI Young Rider Talent ID Clinic recently at the Selwyn Equestrian Centre in Christchurch. It was a really good weekend and all the speakers and coaches were very helpful.

For me the lessons with John Thompson were very beneficial. We performed a test which he watched, so before our lessons began he knew exactly what we needed to work on. I found his method of training very useful and easy to understand.

The pilates were quite challenging and pushed me outside my comfort zone. The exercises we did were very beneficial and helped me to realise my strengths and weaknesses. 

The equine nutritionist was very informative and got us all really thinking about what our horses really need to be performing to their maximum ability.

Overall I really enjoyed the clinic, it was very informative and got us all inspired for the upcoming season"

A moment with ........ Kerry Goldthorpe,  selected to attend the SI  YR Talent ID Camp

The South Talent ID clinic, perhaps the best opportunity a young rider aspiring to achieve could be presented with, which I was fortunate enough to be offered the chance to attend. Not only because of the close guidance received from the incredible John Thompson but also the multiple workshops held throughout the weekend.

The Back in Motion Pilates classes both mounted and not supplied us with an arsenal of exercises from stretches to ridden patterns in order to improve our balance posture and flexibility while still remaining fun for horse and rider, all of this helped us to gain a greater awareness of the effect that our balance and position can have on a horse for the better or the worse.

The workshop with Lynda Clarke and Judy Alderdice from Dressage NZ talked us through the vast array of opportunities available to us and the pathway that Dressage NZ has in order to guide young riders to the top and how to utilise this. They also introduced us to the resources available on the ESNZ website and demonstrated how these could be used to our advantage.

The time spent with Jane Pike gave us the tools required in order to hold the most effective competition mind-set and allow us to ride the best test possible without succumbing to the distractions both internal and external that we encounter when competing. She also covered the importance of viewing a situation with a positive mind-set so the best possible outcome is achieved.

Jane Robertson, the Dressage NZ head steward also held a workshop in which we were provided with the contacts and systems that are available to us in order to provide support when out and about competing, and how to handle possible situations that may arise in the best way, to achieve 

the desired outcome for all parties.

Becci Bishop an equine nutritionist also held a workshop in which she covered the importance of a well-balanced diet for the dressage horse (or pony) and how this is able to alter their performance.

She also covered the major types of feed and the effect that they have on individual horses, and can assist the training and muscle development that’s required, leaving us not only more aware of how to create a correct feed for our horses, but also the contacts required to attain any assistance we may need.

Finally I must say a huge thank you to all those who gave up their time camp in order for the camp to be possible, it definitely doesn’t go unnoticed.

I look forward to next year!

September 2016

Dressage NZ Young Rider Talent ID Clinics 2016 – “Pathway to the Top”

South Island Talent ID Clinic 23-25 Sept Christchurch

The purpose of the Dressage NZ Talent ID Clinic for Pony and Young Riders 2016

To foster talent, provide mentoring and training, whilst promoting the highest ideals of horsemanship to young riders that wish to participate in the Dressage NZ Performance Pathway

Attributes required from riders
Passion for improvement and attention to detail
Competition experience with a good work ethic
Good listeners and have appreciation of the benefits of feedback and information
Empathy for others and their mounts, patience and self-control and with an understanding of self-responsibility and horsemanship

Dressage experience required from riders
These riders have proven over the past season they have talent and dedication to dressage and are focused on progressing competitively. Combinations should ideally be demonstrating competition competence at Level 2 or above.

Clinic content
The clinic includes lessons from a Dressage NZ approved coach and High Performance Rider, the amazing John Thompson! Delegates from Dressage NZ will also be involved, and to help with your understanding on how Dressage NZ can support you and your competing. There will be sport science element to the program with workshops covering Pilates for horse and rider, equine nutrition and horsemanship sessions with topics including the Training Scale, Code of Conduct, Ethical Training, Public Perception of our sport and Social Media

We are very excited to announce two of our local riders, Kerry Goldthorpe and Meila Picard have been selected 
to attend the Christchurch clinic this month.  

Nelson Dressage - Young Rider Biography

Name: Kerry Goldthorpe Age 15

School: Nelson College

Grew up from? Hira, Nelson, lived here my whole life

Horsey background? non horsey background

How did you get into horses? When I was about 8 I watched a movie about horses and got interested, then started trekking. I got my first horse when I was 12, Hunter, who had done some minor showing.

Name of horse and details: Hunter Valley (aka Hunter), 10yo TBxEnglish Riding Pony, 147cm

What grade are you competing at currently? Competing L3 dressage

What do you most enjoy about Dressage and what do you aspire to? I like riding well trained horses and would love to ride GP one day

Quirks of your horse? He chews anything and everything, can be a little on the grumpy side and naughty at times

Who are your trainers? Sharon Higgins and her daughter Georgia

What are your competition plans for the upcoming year? Aiming for L4 and to compete at the South Island Champs

If you could have anything to help your riding what would it be? More training with top level instructors

Your biggest mentor? Sharon Higgins, she has helped me with everything to do with horses and helped me get to where I am now, she really sets me up to do well

What would you feel your biggest barrier is to going forward in achieving your goals? The financial cost of lessons, competing and having horses in general

Name: Meila Picard Age 14

School: Waimea College

Grew up from? Born in Denmark, moved to Nelson when I was 2yo and been here ever since

Horsey background? Total non horsey background

How did you get into horses? Started riding lessons at Edencourt Riding School when I was 7yo, then started riding lessons with Racheal Thomas and riding her ponies. I was 11yo when I got my first pony, Harry – who is now retired at 24yo.

Name of horse and details: Buckton Denniston (aka Dennis), 6yo Warmblood Pony by Hilkens Denali. Dennis had done some dressage and showing with the breeder

What grade are you competing at currently? Competing L2/L3 dressage

What do you most enjoy about Dressage and what do you aspire to? I enjoy the challenge of improving my riding

Quirks of your horse? Dennis is very smart but can be spooky

Who are your trainers? Racheal Thomas and have attended Vanessa Way Clinics

What are your competition plans for the upcoming year? To compete at National events like HOY and YR comps

If you could have anything to help your riding what would it be? An arena at home

Your biggest mentor? Vanessa Way and Charlotte Dujardin

What would you feel your biggest barrier is to going forward in achieving your goals? My biggest barrier is having a limited space of only 10 x 15 m of flat lawn to ride and train on

JULY 2016

Winter Dressage Series #3   (10 July 2016)

WOW Saddle Fittings - Sunday 10 July 2016

Gemma from Epona Downs Equestrian is at Rough Island, by the Western Arena with the WOW Saddle Range for fittings, please feel free to pop over and see what she has available and learn about this new revolutionary saddle ....

The first thing you should understand about WOW™…

is that we have listened to riders and also invested much time scientifically testing different types of saddles to see how they actually perform on horses. Because of this WOW™ named itself, being the one word everyone said when they rode on it.

WOW™ is also totally new way of owning a saddle. For the first time one can buy a traditional looking saddle and by buying different components, alter all of its’ characteristics to suit different horses, riders and disciplines.

WOW is the worlds first modular saddle. The seat, panels and flaps of the saddle are all available separately, so you can easily change component parts. When they are combined they make a saddle whose performance for the horse and the rider is unbeatable!

WOW™ has proved that it is capable of performing at the highest levels of our sport in Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, Endurance and Racing. The technology and concepts used to make this saddle are not to be found in any other brand. WOW™ is unique and truly “Saddlery for the 21st Century”.

This web site is designed to give you a full insight into how and why WOW™ is unique. Take time to browse each element and by the end you will understand why this saddle got its name.

For more information look at:

MAY 2016

A Moment with local rider  .... Frances Dick

Hello, my name is Frances Dick I am an Equestrian and Grade II Para Equestrian rider located in Wakefield, Nelson. 

Three years ago I purchased a new horse, Weltmeister AF (known as Weltie) a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Worldwide PB.  He is such a generous horse in personality and trainability, since having to adapt to my distinctive aids he continually strives to please.

As a partnership, with the implausible support of my trainer Rachel Thomas, we are producing great results.  My most recent was achieving international qualification for the 2016 Paralympics at the Boneo Classic CPEDI 3* in Australia and winning Farmlands Horse of the Year Show Grade II Para Equestrian Champion.

Other previous results include achieving qualification in 2011 for the 2012 London Paralympics at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage Championships, CPEDI 3* UK and in 2007 qualified for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics at the 2007 World Para Dressage Championships, CPEDI 3* UK.  Both these competitions were on borrowed horses.

Our future ambitions are a selection into the 2016 Paralympics and to continue to compete up the levels in abled bodied competitions.  Currently we are competing at level 5.

I hold the Nelson Area Dressage Group in high regard.  They are a very supportive organization and continuously allow para equestrian classes to be held at regional competitions.



Annual Awards  for the 2015/2016 Season

Our Awards function was held at Seifried Winery on the 15 May with some lovely food and great company, this was recognising the achievements from mainly the summer series including Nelson Spring, Super 5, Championship Tournament and the Marlborough Championship as well as the National Area Awards.

2015/2016 Award Winners



Dressage NZ are selling a special edition rose called "Grand Prix Special Rose". 

It is a blood red rose and will be available from June 2016. 

This is a fundraiser for Dressage. 

To see full details about the rose Click Here  to go to the order form.

Please note payment for the Rose must come to Nelson Dressage either post or email your order to Helen Trotman, 60 Ranzau Road, Hope, Richmond 7020.  Payment either by Cheque to Nelson Area Dressage Group or internet banking to account 03-0751-0211300-00.