A child's smile is worth more than a thousand ribbons
THERE is nothing nicer to see at a show than a little face genuinely beaming with happiness and Ava Bowles delivered this in spades at Western Australia’s Horse of the Year Show.
Ava was one of 10 riders on super ponies who battled it out for the small hunter pony class but she earned herself the position of the judge’s (and spectator’s) favourite by piloting Aryline Platium Edition through an outstanding workout to take the honours.
This year’s HOTY saw more than 100 horses entered in several classes over the three-day show, with organisers being very supportive of local breeders, providing classes for West Australian-bred as well as rural and owner-riders.
As the pool of young riders is small in West Australia, the youngsters had a very busy day with show pony and show hunter pony events. This meant many a quick change of outfit and pony at ringside before heading back in for the next class.
This made for a long day for the riders and ponies but special presentation gift bags given to all riders in the lead rein, first ridden and Shetland Pony classes helped make up for that.
The strong local pony breeding interest showed with many in the winning lineups bred by WA breeders, including Yartarla Stud, Glomax Stud, Gempark Stud, Aryline APSB Stud, Leeara Stud and Thorne Park Stud. Pleasingly a number of these were in their first year of competition.
Leshae Itzstein was a busy youngster winning the leading rein show hunter with Woranora Julianna and the leading rein show pony riding Priory Fenella.
Like several other states West Australia is focussed on off-the-track classes to showcase Thoroughbred life after racing and the winner of a strong class was Manajito, now named SN Arcadia, shown by Sara Naylor.
Second to him in that class was Janey Napoli’s Pure Class, who went on to win the large show hack over 16hh, child’s show hack and champion hack.
West Australian show horses may be far away from the centre of the main action on the east coast but whenever their people decide to make the long trip across the Nullarbor to compete in national classes they invariably do well.
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