News and updates from our Area Delegate
Dressage NZ Planning Forum 2018
Held at the West Plaza Hotel Wellington. The meeting commenced at 5pm on Tuesday 10 April 2018.
The annual Planning Meeting is attended by a comprehensive group of office holders within Dressage NZ, including the Board, the Committee (which is the Area Delegates) and members in attendance such as the Sport Manager, Event Manager, Chair of Selectors, North and South Island Riders’ Representatives. For your interest and further education, the Board officials are: the Chair (Lynda Clark) the Finance Officer (Sara Bright) Judges Officer (Sue Hobson) Rules Officer (Scott McKenna) Training and Development (Judy Alderdice) and Marketing Manager (Michelle Zielazo). Consequently, the meeting is attended by many well informed people, with a variety of opinions and many years of accumulated experience.
Following official items on the agenda a representative of Sport Wellington spoke on the topic of Volunteers. Groups were asked to list the tasks they undertake as volunteers. It would appear that our average number of different tasks per group was somewhat higher than the norm for volunteer workshops. While the collective versatility of the gathering may have seemed impressive it also highlighted the wisdom of the saying that if you want something done, ask a busy person. Clearly all areas face the challenge of identifying, recruiting and retaining volunteers. Various ideas were put forward. The importance of respecting and thanking volunteers is obvious as is being polite when things just may not go the way a rider had expected. Ironically it seems that sourcing volunteers is yet another task for the volunteers.
A major Agenda item on Wednesday was discussion of the twelve remits. Not all will proceed to become rule changes or new rules but all were considered carefully.
Re Arena Familiarisation: There has been some variation in what is permitted at events round the country. Some of the issues raised were whether riding is permitted in and/or around the arenas and whether restricted to walk or permitting walk trot and canter. Suggestions were that if in the case of allowing walk trot and canter that a walk only time be allocated. It was agreed that in fairness to all, no additional familiarisation times should be added after an event has commenced. Watch this space as this remit progresses towards conference.
Re Identifying Problem Horses: It was suggested a red or green ribbon in the tail could serve as a warning to riders to give a young horse or a horse that might kick, its space. However, as the rules specifically preclude wearing ribbons in the tail for a test, the practicality of removing a tail ribbon from either category of horse was seen to have an element of risk. The concept of a warning was considered a good one by the
meeting and the suggestion to have a green armband to cover both categories was seen as a common sense way to address the issue. The detail of this will be notified as a communication to riders rather than incorporated into a new rule.
Re Noseband Taper Guage: Two remits related to this topic. A taper guage would ensure a standardised measure to ensure a noseband does not exceed the accepted degree of tightness. There was general agreement too that the measurement should be done at the nasal midline. It was agreed that the current rule is not satisfactory. At the moment the two finger measurement can be taken at the side of the cheek. This allows for a tighter noseband than when taken at the front. Two fingers is a rather variable measure. Susan Tomlin who is a vet, was very well informed on this topic and she, Alicia Zeludko (NI Riders rep) and Scott McKenna (Technical officer) will work further on this rule and its wording. References are listed in the rationale to these two remits for those who are interested to read more about it.
Re Use of voice: This remit draws attention to the current rule stating the penalty for use of the voice in a test is ‘at least’ two marks. As was pointed out, in practice two marks are generally deducted so the words ‘at least’ could be considered unnecessary. There were further remits which required a slight change to the wording or some rules to remove any uncertainty. These were passed by the meeting.
Wendy Hamerton addressed the meeting. There was an update on the planning for WEG and we must congratulate Wendy on her appointment as Chef D’Equipe for the NZ Dressage Team. Wendy emphasised the importance of attending such an event as it is about the International future for Dressage NZ. There is a two way benefit of sustenance from well-nourished grass roots to the inspiration and motivational impact drawn from the spectacular sight of the high achievers.
Dressage NZ Bulletin
As many of you will be aware, Wendy is the editor of the Dressage NZ Bulletin. Wendy invited feedback from the meeting as to readership and what we think of the publication. It is read by approximately 2,000 people per month. Wendy would welcome stories from Areas for the Bulletin. So if any of you have ideas for an article, or better still would like to submit one you are welcome to do so.
Michelle Zielazo, the Marketing Manager, spoke about the WEG fundraising progress. Any fundraising amounts will be shared equally between the riders. Michelle outlined the plan for a monster raffle. It would be a premium raffle with 300 tickets which would cost $100 each. There will be more information about this to come.
Re selection criteria for Squads
There was a discussion about selection criteria. Riders want it set early in the season. The criteria will be published before the season begins but achieving it does not mean a rider is automatically in the squad.
Re Implementation of the ‘Australian Judges Education System’ and introduction of the USDF dressage tests
Sue Hobson spoke of the proposal that NZ implement the “Australian Judges Education System” and the support for the introduction of the USDF dressage tests jointly with Australia. There are many very good reasons for this proposal and all areas agreed in principal with the proposal. There will be more information about this coming from the JSC and our AJO in the near future. Sue explained that there is some delay in this process as there is no point in moving to align with Australia before it
has aligned with the US when their latest tests are published. The change of tests is unlikely to be made for NZ before 1 August 2019. There are a few differences in the levels and the number and naming of tests but there is plenty of time to be advised of changes and differences. But just for those working towards Level 4: at the moment the USDF has one flying change on both reins at this level.
As I have said previously I advise you all to check the Dressage NZ website regularly. The calendar for the coming season will be finalised in the near future. Check the information for the DNZ Conference to be held in Palmerston North.
The above is a very general report on the Planning meeting. You can expect the official report to be posted on the DNZ website in the near future.
2018 NI FUTURE STARS
A notification from the Dressage NZ Board Meeting on 28 Feb 2018:
The Board of Dressage NZ are pleased to confirm that they have passed a motion to move the New Zealand National Dressage Championships to FFNEC Taupo.
It is anticipated that this move from Manfeild will occur in 2020 once the Taupo site is completed to the standard required for holding international FEI and CDI events . Dressage NZ remain committed to continuing to work closely with and assist the FFNEC committee to complete the facilities at Taupo as quickly as possible, and look forward to hosting a truly international event that showcases our riders, horses and sport to the world.
ESNZ 2017 General Regulation Changes
Please see the PDF below for a summary of recent changes to the ESNZ General Regulations - important for every competitor to be aware of.
Opportunities for all for the coming season
With the new season now started I recommend to all who are intending to compete this season to check out all the competition opportunities that there are for riders of all levels. There is something there for everyone: Young and old, the new comers or those coming back to the sport as well as plenty for the experienced riders.
The Series Competitions is on the Dressage NZ website in the Competition section (click here).
Under series rules you will find all the detail about each series. I suggest if you are going to take part you make sure you do know all the relevant facts. Be informed, avoid disappointment.
To give an indication of the importance of checking the rules for the series very carefully here are some examples of what you need to know and which, by not knowing, may leave you disappointed
at some later date in the season. There may well be a competition you are not, at this stage, even aware of.
There has been a huge effort made to have series that recognise different levels of horses and experience of riders. For example for those competing in the Super 5 League there is the Prestige
Dressage Futures Prize for riders CN to C5 riding horses aged 4-10. Read all about it.
For three of the series you enter on line via Equestrian Entries.
If you are competing at levels 6,7,8 or 9 in the Super 5 League, check out the condition regarding whips.
There is much more and I think when you find the particular Series competition for which you are eligible and note the sub- categories within the series you will feel inspired to have a go. Series
competitions are a great motivator especially being based on percentages rather than places.
Realising that to improve test marks by even just a couple of percentage points to reach a higher points category can have its ‘rewards’ is an effective motivator.
For many of the Series you can count scores from local events that are listed on the official calendar (i.e. ‘carded’ events) So check out the calendar and find some events to go to.
The competition Calendar for the 2017-2018 Season is on the website. The month by month calendar details the local events for the various dressage groups around the country as well as our
own and the major events. So if you prefer going to smaller events check out what is happening at home and in other nearby areas.
Under the heading at the top of the Calendar ‘page’ is the Back on Track Premier Dressage League. This shows in one clear table, all of what we have known as the Regional Championship Shows
around the country. It also list the dates for the Island and National Championships, HOY and NZ Under 25 Championships. A very useful reference point.
Please note the sponsors of all these series and in particular the ones you are going to be part of: For the Super 5 League there is a separate sponsor for each level. Take note of the particular
sponsor of the level at which you will be competing. Find out about their products. Go to their stands at events such as Equidays. Support our sponsors.
If any of you are uncertain about the rider categories follow the link above to the series details and you will find the criteria is tabulated at the end of the All-in- Flex Dressage Amateur Top 10 Series
2017 – 2018.
Enjoy the season ahead,