Riders hunt down milestone

The Penola Hunt Club recently celebrated its milestone 60th year of operation with a weekend full of events.

Penola Hunt Club master and secretary Jenna Bignell said everything “went off without a hitch” and the weather was prime with beautiful sunny skies on the Sunday.

“It was really nice to see quite a lot of competitors and people out there giving it a go that did not think they could do it,” Ms Bignell said.

“Everybody stood around and supported everybody else coming through – as the riders were coming back from their Hunters Trial everyone was cheering.”

Ms Bignell said the Hunter’s Competition on Saturday was a success, with seven riders in the open class, nine in intermediate, six in junior and four in sub-junior.

First place winners were Jo O’Connor in the Open class on her horse Harry, Emma Vercoe in the Intermediate class on Myarra Ferdinand and Holly Phillips in the Junior class on Wyann Beckham.

Ms Bignell said it was great to see Penola Hunt Club members and the committee stay to support the sub-juniors, which was the last class.

“They all cheered for the little ones, the littlest ones were both two (years old) that rode in that,” she said.

“It was really nice to see them all stand around and cheer and clap for them and encourage them.”

Ms Bignell said more than 70 people attended the dinner on Saturday night and the auction raised over $3000 for the club.

She said 29 riders participated in the Formal Hunt on Sunday and a minute’s silence was held before they rode out to remember the life members who had passed away.

The jumps purchased in the ‘buy a jump’ fundraiser were unveiled and a special ‘memory lane’ was created with the jumps dedicated to life members and people who had passed away.

Ms Bignell said a personal highlight of the weekend was when the Penola Hunt Club committee surprised her with life membership for the club.

“It was really nice, I had no idea so they did well keeping it from me,” she said.

“It’s just nice to be recognised when you do not expect it.”

Ms Bignell said organising the weekend was a group effort and thanked all sponsors, donors and the Penola Hunt Club committee.

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