THE Willinga Park Equestrian Centre in Bawley Point will host the first the first CDI four-star event ever held in the southern hemisphere.
Dressage by the Sea 2019, a unique dressage event, will be held across two weekends from February 21 to March 2 at the 41-hectare world class equestrian centre.
Until now, the best equestrian judges were only at CDI – Concours de Dressage International, recognised by the Fédération Equestre Internationale – events in the northern hemisphere.
In a statement Mr Snow said some of the best equestrian judges in the world will be at Willinga Park to make sure Australia’s athletes are seen and recognised in the sport before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Registered riders include Australian Olympic team hopefuls Rozzie Ryan and Brett Parbery. Ryan is a leading Grand Prix dressage rider for Australia and was reserve rider for the Australian Dressage Team at the Beijing Olympics.
She won the 2019 Pacific League World Cup Finals on January 27 and will represent Australia at the 2019 World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden in April.
Parbery has 12 Australian Dressage Championships under his belt and was short-listed for three Olympic Games and finished in the top 10 at the World Equestrian Games.
Competitors will also have a break between the weekends to explore the southern Shoalhaven and Bawley Point.
“We hope to bring more pre-qualifying events across several equestrian sports to Willinga Park in the lead up to Tokyo,” Mr Snow said.
“Competitors and spectators are able to stay in the area for ten days, which will bring more business to Bawley Point, even after the summer rush. We are proud to host this first-of-its-kind event, supporting our local community and building more recognition for our Tokyo 2020 hopefuls.”
The back-to-back weekend competitions will give Australian competitors two chances to make their mark and get a score to benchmark their performance against competitors from the rest of the world.
Tickets are available at http://willingapark.com.au/events/dressage-by-the-sea-2019.