Creativity to the Fore for Aussie Designer
Australian course designer Michael Haese is no stranger to holidaying in New Zealand but Takapoto Estate will be his first foray across the Tasman with equestrian in mind.
An author and mathematician who runs a family maths text book publishing company for Australian and international schools across the globe, he is looking forward to designing for a new venue and working alongside the well-respected Frenchman Michel Ismalun.
“There is always excitement going to new venues, working in different arenas with different equipment and for different horses,” says Adelaide-based Michael.
Michael has been course designing for 20 years throughout Australia, including the 2019 Caboolture and Waratah World Cup qualifiers and Aquis Champions Tour, and also in the United Kingdom. He has assisted at many top shows too, in The Netherlands, France, Germany, and the United States.
Michael loves the creativity his equestrian work brings and the blending of science and art to produce mood. “No matter what ring I design for, I think the first rule is to do no harm. My aim is to design courses which are inviting for horses and ones which encourage forward movement. I think my natural style is quite German, and I aim to produce smooth, flowing curves all around the courses.”
“When I look back at shows I have done, there have been courses I have really liked, and there have been some particularly entertaining classes. Often these things coincide, but not always. Course designers need to remember that we do not make the sport. The horses and their riders do this.”
Guiding the FEI level 3 designer for many years has been UK-designer Peter Gillespie, who has been ever-willing to share his vast knowledge and experience, as well as providing Michael with opportunities to course design at shows including the BSJA National Championships on multiple occasions.
Michael will be designing in the Takapoto Sand Arena 2.