IT WILL be poetry in motion when talented dressage riders and their mounts from across the state take to the arenas at Hawkesbury Showground from tomorrow.
The Clarendon Winter Festival, will run over three days, starting Friday, July 11, and wrapping up on Sunday, July 13. It is held by Dressage NSW.
An exceptional turnout is expected, with 500 tests to be ridden — around 150 is the usual number. The championship competition caters for riders of all levels of experience, offering a wide-ranging display of skills.
Champions for all levels will be split into open and amateur divisions.
‘‘This is the first time we’ve held the Winter Festival,’’ Dressage NSW’s Karen Lever said.
‘‘There will be high level horses competing, and both professional and amateur riders.’’
Ms Lever said the competition had gained a great deal of support locally, across the state and even outside the country.
‘‘We have a horse coming all the way from New Zealand to compete,’’ she said.
The showground will transform into horse heaven for spectators, with 232 horses expected for the event. About 207 riders have signed up to compete.
It will run from about 8am-5pm each day, with various trade stands on site to keep everyone entertained, as well as food and beverages.
The biggest event of the competition, the Grand Prix, will be held on Saturday afternoon.
Freestyle tests, which set the horse’s movement to music, will be held each afternoon around 12pm or 1pm, depending on the day.
Entry is free.