Equestrians leap into action

Equestrians leap into action

Alarge contingent of equestrians trotted into Mount Gambier for the 41st Mount Gambier Showjumping Club Easter Carnival earlier this month.

Numbers were up on previous years with 240 rounds of competition from Friday through to Sunday and an additional 180 rounds on Monday.

Competitors travelled from as far away as New South Wales with a number of local, South Australian and Victorian riders also taking part.

Mount Gambier Showjumping Club president David Johnson said they had a mixture of new and returning riders which contributed to the event’s best attendance in a number of years.

“We had some people return this year who had not been for some years which was great to see and we had people who had never come before,” he said.

“I think we provide a good jumping surface, equipment, program and atmosphere.

“The welcome dinner on the Friday night is just a barbecue and some salads but folks come on over and we just get around and it’s a nice, relaxed evening and then we do a pizza night on the Sunday night which was very well 

Mr Johnson said local riders held their own against solid competition.

“We had some very good riders and horse combinations here for the weekend but it was exciting to see our local riders mixing it with them and taking out not just placings but some wins as well,” he said.

“Each and every person from our local area that competed was competitive, they were not just making up numbers.

“I believe it gives our riders the confidence that if they wanted to travel for competition then they have a chance of being in amongst the mix.

“There were quite a few younger riders there this year which is good because we had the second ring so a lot of the younger riders were in that group, but even in the senior ring there was quite a number in that.”

Gippsland rider Kate Beadel returned to the competition after nearly 25 years and became one of the weekend’s top winners while former Hawthorne captain and premiership player Don Scott, 79, won the Thoroughbred Sport Horse Association 1.10m Special Phase Two with Dougie Lou.

Friday’s main event was the Russell Industries and Horseland 1.15m Speed Championship which was won by Elissa Stephens on Vertigo followed by local Libby Halliday on Libadee Park Wildfire and Sarah Elsden riding Amor Perseus.

The easter egg hunt on the Sunday was a highlight for the many children who flocked to the field while the showjumping took a break.

The Community Bank Mount Gambier and District David Clark Memorial Rising Star’s Classic on Sunday was taken out by Kristy McSween and Wondareee Spice with runner up Kym Mosey on Essoess and Beadel rounding out the podium with Born to be Wild.

Local Kristy Bruhn won the Mount Gambier Rural Supplies 1.20m on Pure Diamond by an eighth of a second with only 3.5 seconds separating first and fifth place.

James Harvey won the City of Mount Gambier 
Grand Prix atop Yirrkala Celeste on Monday, followed by Beadel on Crackle E and Jess Pateman on Celso.

Meanwhile, Grant District Council John Wilsher Memorial Blue Lake Stakes on Monday was “a cracker of an event” heavily contested by 21 participants.

Eight competitors cleared the first round and proceeded to the second round in which two pairs jumped a double clear with winner Stephens on Vertigo only 3-4 seconds in front of runner up Timothy Clarke and Kanntango followed by Beadel on Charlotte Elmare.

It was an extra special win for Stephens who was riding the horse on which her dad Phil won in the same event years earlier.

Mr Johnson said he would like to thank the Mount Gambier Cycling Club, South Gambier Football Club, Mount Gambier and District Baseball League and valued sponsors and volunteers.

“I think a particular thanks has to go to all the other sporting groups in the Blue Lake Sports Park precinct that combined to make this a successful carnival,” he said.

“We cannot run it without their support and it is great to be able to jump on some excellent grounds.

“We have got some good office and canteen facilities there and the camping that we park around the South Gambier football grounds and their facilities are wonderful.

“Thanks to everyone that got in and helped pick up poles, move courses, worked in the canteen and picked up manure.

There are a lot of things that happen outside the arenas that people did to really help.

“We want to continue that family friendly and relaxed atmosphere with a competitive environment (next year) and we continue to provide good grounds and good equipment.

“We always welcome more, new and returning riders and we want them all to have a good time and come back again.”

The Mount Gambier Showjumping Club will now look ahead to their upcoming training day followed by the Green Triangle Showjumping Winter Series which kicks off on May 19 at the Glenelg Pony Club in Merino, Victoria.

Why wait? Get more stories like this delivered straight to your inbox
Join our digital edition mailing list and stay up to date on the latest news, events and special announcements from across the Limestone Coast.

Your local real estate guide - every Thursday


You might also like