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Posted by Andrea Webb on 12/11/2014.
Chris Burton keeping an eye on his students
Derek Pascoe

Juniors Soak up Experience

Over the weekend a group of NSW junior eventers were given the opportunity to have some cross country and dressage training at the picturesque Wallaby Hill Farm in Robertson owned by Alex Townsend and Derek Pascoe with the assistance of Equestrian NSW and Eventing NSW.

Alex had arranged with Chris Burton -(Australian representative at London Olympics and WEG), who is back in Australia to run clinics and attend the Adelaide 3 day event, to conduct some cross country training to some promising NSW junior combinations.  Chris was more than happy to donate his time and help these riders who are currently competing in classes from EvA95cm up to 1 star.

Mark Dowling experienced dressage rider and judge provided the young riders with individual dressage protocol sessions in the indoor arena.  As parents watched quietly, Mark asked each rider to ride their usual dressage test.   He then reviewed the test with each rider and offered advice on how to improve their performance including what to do at home when training.  Mark stated: “I am very passionate about helping the youth coming through the sport. All the kids were extremely positive and they were like sponges as the information started to sink in. It was a very rewarding day for me and the quality of riding is improving.”

Out on the cross country course, Chris was soaking up the Australian sun whilst assessing the riders he had in each group.  Chris helped each rider tailor their training regime for their horses including how to approach and actually jump a fence, managing strides, balance and preparation.  The riders all seemed to have a great time whilst learning at the same time.

The feedback has been amazing. Some comments received include:

“I just wanted to thank you for the fantastic clinic with Chris. He was fantastic and really inspiring and both girls got so much out of it. Mark was also brilliant and had really good constructive comments to make and we all saw an immediate improvement.”

 "That was one of the best clinics we have ever attended.”

 “Chris was excellent - he gave lots of good advice about how to tailor your XC training to your horse's particular temperament. The dressage session was really good too.”


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