Horses in action

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The Mount Gambier Showjumping Club (MGSC) will launch into the the 2022 Nutrien Easter Festival at the Blue Lake Sports Park Velodrome this weekend.

The four-day event which starts tomorrow has grown to be a regular fixture in the Limestone Coast sporting calendar and one of the biggest of its kind in South Australia since 1982.

The occasion is set to bring hundreds of spectators and competitors to the region with the grass banks of the Blue Lake Sports Park football oval flooded with horse floats.

Last year for the first time in the 39-year history two rings were used with the velodrome out of action.

Instead, two baseball diamonds were utilised, and Mount Gambier Showjumping Club president David Johnson said everyone loved riding on the two courses designed by FEI Level 3 CD Michael Hease and adjudicated by FEI Level 3 judge Kevin Taranto.

“The feedback was actually very good and a lot of people thought it was better than the velodrome which was huge,” Johnson said.

“Last year’s unexpected success means I can certainly see a future where both the velodrome and baseball diamonds are used in future festivals.

“The intent and feedback from everyone we spoke to loved the second ring and would love us to continue to do it.

“Although we received positive feedback of the second ring, this year we are unable to run it due to the 2022 Mount Gambier Legends Masters Games being scheduled for the preceding week, but we look forward to bringing it back in 2023.”

Despite the setback, the event promises a watered surface and quality jumps with course designer Johnson and returned FEI Level 3 judge Taranto.

This world class show attracts the best riders from the State and Country to Mount Gambier to showcase their horses.

MGSC spokesperson Kendra Bignell said the club are appealing for volunteers to help at the festival.

“It will provide young riders with an amazing opportunity to watch how the elite showjumpers compete while helping our club run the show,” she said.

“This is one of two major shows our club hosts and it takes an immense amount of effort behind the scenes from our very small yet hard working committee to pull them off.

“I am appealing for anyone who can share an hour or two over the easter period to contact me on 0409 397 088 and I will put you on the roster for a suitable job.

“Many hands make light work.”

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