THE Maddison Charity Dressage Event held last week at Monnington Equestrian centre was an overwhelming success, raising £1,500 for the Moredun Foundation Equine Grass Sickness Fund.
The event was held in memory of a very special pony which died tragically from grass sickness this summer. Maddison was home-bred by Val Hall at Barnham, who has an outstanding reputation for breeding and producing New Forest ponies. Maddison had proved he had the potential to go to the top in dressage before he contracted the disease, which is almost always fatal.
The classes were oversubscribed and there was a waiting list for places for this show, which started promptly at midday and finished at 8.15pm, acting both as a tribute to Maddison and also a fundraiser to help try and find a cure for the terrible disease.
Val Hall said: “We were fortunate to have Charlotte Lassetter and Yvonne Huber judging, and points were accrued over two tests to decided the overall champion and reserve champion. The weather was kind with only two riders getting a little damp during their riding tests.The barbecue, ice cream and cakes were very popular and there was a steady stream of hungry riders and grooms and helpers.”
A dressage to music display was particularly poignant when performed in the evening by Jan Hesketh and Glory Bea, known affectionately as Minnie. Minnie is a grass sickness survivor who came back from the brink of death from the disease. One of the very few survivors of this deadly disease, Minnie now shows a great zest for life. Following Minnie’s performance there was an alternative demonstration of Dressage to Music by Charlotte and John Lassetters pantomime horse.
“Our thanks go to all our sponsors whose generosity enabled us to raise such a magnificent amount for the Moredun Foundation Equine Grass Sickness Fund,” said Val.
The overall champion, winning the Maddison Trophy, was Clare Pointing riding Archie, a pure bred Irish draught owned by Debbie Daniels Reserve was Lyn Chapman riding her lovely coloured horse Remix.
All riders and horses were beautifully turned out and even the newcomers to dressage were undaunted.This is to become an annual event and orhganisers look forward to seeing everybody again in 2015 and raising more money to help find a cure for this devastating equine disease.