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Posted by Equestrian Australia on 29/09/2016.
Stewards at Hartpury with Charlotte Dujardin &Valegro and Carl Hester & Nip Tuck (Sue is third from the right)

INSIGHT - The 2016 Hartpury Festival of Dressage

Sue Tuck (VIC) has recently officiated as a Dressage and Para-dressage Steward at the 2016 Festival of Dressage in Hartpury, England. Here she tells us her story...

"July in England see's the Hartpury Festival of Dressage, a premier event on the UK dressage circuit.  I have had the privilege of coming to Hartpury for many years in many different roles - steward, groom (team & individual) and rider support coach.  The venue is outstanding and the Organising Committee is really exceptional at putting on a world class event. This year we had stewards from Brazil, Poland, South Africa, Australia and of course England.

The Brazilian stewards were bound for Rio and saw this event as a perfect competition to hone their skills before the Games.  This year saw the Festival as the final selection event for Team GB's para riders for Rio - hence the stellar entries from GB, Brazil, and Ireland among others. 

Horse arrival and stable set up is done efficiently and with a minimum of bother for riders, team members and horses.  

Day 1 of competition brings the nerve racking trot up - held outdoors this year, with all horses being passed.  

The CPEDI consists of the Team, Individual and Freestyle tests for the 4 Grades of Para riders.  

Australia did not have riders here this year as our Para team had already been announced.  

The Para tests were ridden in the huge Parkway arena with 2 rings side by side.  The hard working stewards carefully checked tack, compensating aids and a final bit check at the end of each test.  

Much support and guidance was given to new combinations and a few good laughs had with the seasoned campaigners. 

The O.C. had decided to trial a wireless iPad based live scoring system which had some initial problems but could be a great wireless option in the future.  Therefore some stewards were seconded into "button pushing" - which entailed the onerous task of sitting in the a judges box and selecting the score.  As this was for live scoring only and with no effect on the real score this was certainly a bonus job.  I had the opportunity to button push for both dressage and para tests with the highlight being with the Judge at C for tests by both Charlotte and Carl - Wow!!!!  

Contributing to the great success of any event in the incredible team of stewards, working long hours, in all weather conditions but the rewards can be watching Valegro warming up and perform the new Rio Freestyle to score over 90%.  Stewarding is a unique role which offers many challenges but it has made me some lifelong friends and lasting memories. My thanks go to Juliet Whatley, Jenny Loriston Clark, Geoff Simpson, Amanda Heath and Philip Cheetham.

Hartpury figures : 

  • 20 Judges 
  • 12 FEI stewards 
  • 40 support staff/volunteers 
  • 58 CDI riders 
  • 38 CPEDI riders
  • 350 Premier League horse - a National Class"

Sue Tuck

To Read all the other INSIGHT stories Click HERE

Are you also an Equestrian Australia official who has recently officiated overseas? Are you interested in sharing your experiences with the greater equestrian community in our regular series? Click HERE to submit your story.

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