Dressage Wairarapa originally started life as two groups - Wairarapa Dressage Group and Solway Dressage Inc. In more recent times we have been working together under the banner of Dressage Wairarapa with the aim to encourage riders, coaches and judges of all levels to become involved with dressage within our region.
DRESSAGE WAIRARAPA AIMS - Encourage the growth and development of the sport in our area, enabling as many riders as possible to participate in all levels - registered and unregistered - Provide more local events at all levels for all riders - Encourage new judges, and assist current judges to maintain accreditation and upgrade these - Inform our local area riders of the opportunities offered by Equestrian Sports New Zealand through Dressage New Zealand
Dressage Wairarapa is made up of a fabulous, hard-working, passionate committee, helping to provide learning opportunities for all dressage enthusiasts, as well as putting on well-attended events and competitions. Here's our lovely committee:
President/ Area Delegate Wendy Jeffery
Vice President/ Publicity Officer Elle Ifill
Treasurer Ann Webster
Judges Officer Ian Childs
Minute Secretary Trish Furness
Rider's Rep Emma Mail
Committee Member Sarah Schnell
Committee Member Marg Robinson
Committee Member Robyn Warren
Committee Member Della Frew
Committee Member Jill Murray
Committee Member Kathryn Wilton
Commitee Member Tracey Cooper
Commitee Member Heather Firth
Commitee Member Danielle Jillings
RALLIES We run monthly rallies at the Solway Showgrounds, where riders are able to use our all-weather arena and participate in instruction where provided. These rallies are the perfect opportunity for riders to bring out their young and green horses in a quiet and informal environment, as well as creating opportunities to gain knowledge from our very own judges, riders and coaches if you are interested in learning about dressage at all levels. Members and non-members are welcome. Rally dates can be found on our Events Page.
COMPETITIONS We run a number of non-graded, graded and premier competitions throughout the year. The schedule can be found on our Events Page.
SOLWAY DRESSAGE HISTORY - kindly provided by Lynn Lamb "Some 30 years ago, Jan White, a member of the Southern Hawkes Bay Dressage Group, moved to the Wairarapa and soon realised that very few riders competed in dressage. She called a meeting at her Gladstone home and Wairarapa Dressage (its original name) was formed."
"The main aim was to encourage riders to try dressage. Rallies were first held at Mr and Mrs Ron Campbell’s Paireau Road and Mr and Mrs Doug Lamb’s Kaituna properties. Outside instructors were invited and those with a little knowledge were expected to help. Numbers soon grew and we later shifted to the Clareville all-weather lime arena and their undercover facility. From there we moved to our present home, Solway Showgrounds, where in 1998 we had enough funds to put in our own 20mx 60m all-weather arena. This was upgraded to an improved surface in 2006."
"At first there was no intention of holding tournaments, but this did happen and in later years ribbon days were added with special classes for “green” horses and riders which proved very popular. We have now gone full circle and will concentrate on ribbon days, which are more in line with our aim to encourage dressage."
"One memorable occasion was in 1982. We were invited by the Masterton A & P Association to perform a musical ride at their show. Little knowing what if would entail, we accepted. Practice commenced at Solway Showgrounds with 14 riders, with several pulling out as they soon realised the time involved. The ground got harder and we moved to the softer surface at Kaituna where countless summer evenings were spent. All went well on the big day but we had not practiced for the applause that echoed from the grandstand – the horses turned as one and fled! The final team was Lynne Holmes and Ann Kershaw (chestnuts), Pam Nathan and Raewyn Clapham (deceased) (bays), Robyn Walker and Donna Candy (bays), Tina Holmes (deceased) and Pat Lee (whites), Jenny Draper and Lynn Lamb (blacks). Ginny Thurston acted as prompt."
"For those who stayed the distance, it’s been fun!"