Meet the Riders of the Otto Sport Australia Sydney CDI - Gina Montgomery | Equestrian Australia
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Posted by Sydney CDI on 24/04/2018.
Gina Montgomery and Iresias L at last year's Sydney CDI presentation.
Photo credit Franz Venhaus

Meet the Riders of the Otto Sport Australia Sydney CDI - Gina Montgomery

NSW Central Coast dressage rider, trainer and coach Gina Montgomery is preparing to take to the arena in Australia's premier international dressage event, the 2018 Otto Sport Australia Sydney CDI.

The professional from Kiar, just north of Wyong, will have two horses competing in the event's prestigious young horse championship.

Here, Gina introduces some of her horses, describes her hopes for the 2018 event, and explains why winning at the Sydney CDI is such a huge achievement.

Tell us a little bit about the horses you will be bringing to the 2018 Otto Sport Australia Sydney CDI.

For this year's Sydney CDI I have two horses competing in the Young Horse classes - the imported stallion, Iresias L, in the five-year-old class and the Australian-bred Artes Lauries Gift for the seven-year-old class. Both of them have been in top form of late so we are really looking forward to the show.

You recently notched up an incredible achievement with Iresias L, who not only won his age group but also Young Dressage Horse Champion of Champions at Dressage and Jumping With The Stars - a back-to back title that has only been achieved by two other horses in the history of the event. Tell us a bit about him, and what your hopes for Sydney CDI are.

Yes, it was super exciting to again be Champion of Champions with Iresias L, aka "Johnny". Last year, he was the first four-year-old in the history of the show to become Champion of Champions and to take the crown once again in his five-year-old year was just fantastic and we were all so thrilled for him. Then of course he became Champion four-year-old at Sydney CDI in 2017 also. He is a wonderful horse, he is sired by European and World Equestrian Games (WEG) medallist Glock's Johnson and his dam sire is WEG and Olympic medallist Ferro, so he is from really top breeding and he just has a fantastic desire to please the rider. We found him in Holland as a very raw three-year-old and, luckily for me, on my recommendation Sarah Hanslow purchased him. He landed in the country in August 2016 and has been with me ever since. He is in really good form right now, he has a very good handle on the five-year-old work, is feeling really strong and confident in the work so for sure we have high hopes of a good show at Sydney CDI but there are many other good combinations about so we will see, fingers crossed!

You have a number of promising youngsters coming through the ranks. Who should we be looking out for?

Yes I have some very nice horses on the team - the seven-year-old Artes Lauries Gift, owned by the Jakins Family, who will also be at Sydney CDI has been with me also since he was three years old and we have brought him up through the young horse ranks (he was in the top three at Sydney CDI as a four- and five-year-old and finished fourth last year in the six-year-old). He is now also competing at Advanced level, is ready for Small Tour and we already have some of the Grand Prix work happening in training so the future looks promising for him. Then I have my own and Lisa MacDonald's imported stallion Braveaux, who is also five years old that we bought and imported at the same time as Iresias L. He has just come off a very busy breeding season whilst also competing over summer. He was the winner of the first round at Dressage With The Stars and finished third overall, so he will miss Sydney CDI and have a well earned break now, but he is super exciting for the future. Unfortunately, we recently retired Wallmeyer so I have a vacancy for a Grand Prix horse if anyone wants to come shopping with me!

You have competed in the past at the Sydney CDI. What stands out for you at this show?

I have always very much enjoyed competing at Sydney CDI and we have had some great results there over the years, beginning with Smash Hit in the Young Horse classes then having success with our beautiful Wallmeyer from winning the Advanced Cup right through to placing in the Grand Prix, won the Small Tour with Stedinger and then in recent years with the boys above. What stands out most for me is the quality of the show as a whole and therefore the sport. It has always been just a fantastically run show that simply everybody wants to qualify for and compete at so that is why my results come so easily to mind, they really mean something - the competition is fierce, everybody is primed for it and to come away with a ribbon is a huge achievement. The organising committee do an outstanding job, are always thinking of ways to improve the show and make it a pinnacle of the sport so there's a real buzz in the air, the crowd on the Saturday in the indoor is huge and of course the support from the sponsors is so generous, we riders so appreciate it.

Is there anything else we should know?

Just that we can't wait to get started and hope to see everyone out there :)

More about the event

A total of 262 of the nation's best horses will be put through their paces in nearly 500 tests across four days of competition as part of the 2018 OTTO SPORT AUSTRALIA Sydney CDI, taking place at Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SIEC) from May 2 to 5.

The Sydney CDI is an Equestrian Australia (EA) Nomination Event for the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG), taking place in North Carolina, USA, in September.

The event features competitions spanning levels from Advanced to Grand Prix and Para Equestrian, as well as young horse classes, attracting top riders from around Australia.

Tickets are now on sale, and seats for the ever-popular Saturday evening Grand Prix Freestyle to Music event are selling out fast.

For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit the event website at www.sydneycdi.com

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