Louise Hillman who lives right 'at the bottom' of Western Australia has completed the 'trip of a lifetime' and achieved her goal for 2010 by competing in the Australian National Dressage Championships in Sydney at the end of October. She took her part bred Cleveland DP Finean on an epic journey of four days each way to compete at Small Tour (Prix St George and Intermediare 1). Although unplaced, Finean was one of only 35 horses to qualify for the Championships - a dream achievement for Louise who bought her gelding as a very wobbly, just broken green 41/2 year old in 2000. Finean is by Emperor Oberon (pure CB) out of Still Engaged (TB) and was bred by Debbie Bell of Mount Barker, Western Australia. A long string of successes included in 2009 Champion in Small Tour of the Southern Solstice Dressage Championships and the Western Australia State Champion, FEI Small Tour. Latterly, Finean has also been performing as a Show Hunter in regional and state competitions. Louise says he enjoys standing in line knowing that he will get to have a good gallop! In 2007 he was 5th at the Perth Royal Show. The following year Colin Green declared him Champion Cleveland Bay at the Perth Royal. Over the last ten years Louise has developed a strong bond with Finean whom she describes as 'sensitive, intelligent, crafty and a sheer joy to work with'. Incidentally the 'DP' part of the name stands for 'Debbie's Place' - the name of the farm where he was born!
Photos courtesy of Gary Fulton: above right Sunday Warm-up, lower right the Inter 1. Click on pictures to see enlarged
Trip of a lifetime