Cutting competitor dominates Dressage events riding a Reining bred Horse. Just a few weeks prior to finalling in the recent Goondiwindi Non Pro Futurity aboard Way Too Smart, Teresa Russo demonstrated just how versatile she is by winning five out the six events she competed in at the Queensland State Quarter Horse Show. Riding Especially A Whizz a Mare by Reining Stallion Whizzel A Melody The pair won Two Dressage events (and came second in a third), the Amateur Dressage Event, and the Hack 14hh to 14.2 and the Amateur Hack Class.
The 31 year old from Innisvale North Queensland, is kept very busy these days by competing in Cutting and Dressage events almost every weekend. Teresa started riding horses at the age of 8 year old and began competing in Western Pleasure classes at the age of fifteen. In 2005 she moved into Reining and achieved enormous success with the Palomino Mare Jacks Amber Spin, winning and placing in numerous events and finishing in the top three in the National Hi point standings.
A few years ago Teresa went to the States and spent two and half years working with Cutting Horse trainer Craig Thompson and on her return about a year ago purchased the Palomino Mare Way Too Smart which at the time was under the guidance of Ian Francis. Now in the hands of Bell Trainer Heath Sinclair the mare has quickly established herself as one of the countries finest Derby Horses and Teresa has finalled her in the North Star Non Pro Derby and the Goondiwindi Derby events. Quite an achievement since her first ever go at competing in a cutting event at last years Comet Futurity.
Then at the beginning of this year Teresa decided to try her hand at the Dressage events and after some lessons from Vivian Waring Teresa took her mare Especially A Whizz to Q11. and won a reserve championship in the Amateur Hack. When asked what her favorite event is the answer is “Definitely the cutting, it’s just a big adrenalin rush …. The high degree of training needed for these horses is just amazing, to be able to just put your hand down and your horse do most of the work is just an incredible experience. After spending years in Reining where you use have control of everything I find it extremely difficult not to pick up my hands and try to control everything, letting the horse do its stuff without helping much is an extremely hard habit to break”.