In Australia we are in the very fortunate position in that a lot of the hard work has already been done for us. With the growing number of imported GRP stallions and mares plus the availability of frozen semen from Europe, we can achieve in a much shorter time frame, what it has taken the Germans some 50 years to produce.
We also have the distinct advantage of having a very large pool of quality mares to choose from. Ranging from Australian Pony mares, with their foundations laid in Welsh and Arabian lines to the Australian Riding Pony, many having pedigrees leading back to the English ponies originally used in the creation of the German Riding Pony.
It is now a matter of selecting individuals for breeding in order to create a similar type here in Australia to the GRP. Although the GRP is predominantly bred for and used by children in Europe, ponies in Australia are very often sought after by adult riders. The dominant traits that the GRP is well known for; temperament and trainability should never be sacrificed, even though they may be destined for use by adult riders in Australia.
While ponies have competed in dressage for many years both in Pony Club, the HRCAV (Horse Riding Clubs Assocation of Victoria) and unofficial EA (Equestrian Australia) competitions, it wasn't until 2003 that EA introduced separate pony dressage classes for juniors 10-16 years old and then in 2005 opened up Pony Dressage to riders of all ages. Interest in Pony Dressage then started gaining momentum with Pony Dressage now included in most state championships.
The first 4 yo Young Pony class was introduced at the Australian Young Horse Championships (Dressage and Jumping With The Stars) in 2009. A 5 yo class followed in 2010 with the 6 yo class introduced a year later.
Perhaps imported before his time as the interest in Pony Dressage and more particularly, purpose bred ponies were still in their very early days, the first German Riding Pony FS Golden Storm arrived in Australia in 2004.
FS Golden Storm is by FS Golden Moonlight and out of FS Na Nu (x Nibelungenheld). He was competed successfully at his few early outings but was gelded several years later. As a gelding he is is still being campaigned very successfully with wins and places up to and including Advanced.
The only known progeny by FS Golden Storm in Australia is the mare Nightwishes (out of an unknown breeding mare) and the gelding Wyuna Morocco (out of a Riding Pony mare).
Imported to Australia in 2008 and the first fully Licensed German Riding Pony stallion to stand at public stud in Australia was Don Philino WE who is by Dressman I and out of part warmblood mare by the Hannoverian stallion Luxor.
A number of GRP stallions and mares have now come to Australia to further enhance the dressage pony bloodlines available.
A listing of GRP stallions both standing at stud in Australia and available by frozen semen (with GRP pedigree database links) is on the GRP Stallions page.