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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Arenas come alive as Equitana returns after four-year break

ABOVE: Don Stewart, Raymond Franklin and Jennifer Anderson of Murray Valley Hunt Club looking impressive . Picture: LISA GREEN of MANE MEMORIES

THE competition arenas at this year's return of Equitana to Melbourne after four years were filled with some of Australia’s finest horses. Lovers of the Arabian horses got to see Future Farms Volcom FF strut his stuff and show just what a pure-bred Arabian stallion looks like. Sabble Farm and Future Farms’ Rivoli Magic FF won the class for derivatives over four years, and Re-Ality Arabians’ gorgeous filly I Adore Mi took out a strong class of 10 pure-bred fillies. The Australian Stock Horses were great to watch. Teagan Todd won the hack and time trial class and paired with Amy Cheney to win the teams.

ABOVE: David Nash and David Murphy have competed against each other since they were boys. Both are still breeding Australian Stock Horses and still competing against each other at Equitana. Picture: MANE MEMORIES

In the action classes, the 25 barrel racers had the crowd cheering, and Moon Roc ridden by Adele Edwards in a time of 15.847 just pushed Brooke Parker’s Captain into second place on 15.872.

Horseball is not so familiar with the wider horse community.

It is a sport played on horseback where a ball is handled and goals are scored by shooting it through a hoop with a diameter of 1m. The sport is a combination of polo, rugby, netball and basketball.

At Equitana, The Handz on Challengers team beat the Australian team, and in the states section Queensland won from NSW and Queensland.

ABOVE: Shane Rose. Picture: MANE MEMORIES

The hunt chase is always exciting with the traditional hunters out in teams with Murray Valley B’s Durani Hart on Ice N Fire, Micah Cox on-Leawarra Queen and Bee Kirsten Kerry on Barrister winning.

The pony club mounted games teams event was won by Western Australia.

Reining is hugely popular in Australia and performing in front of a packed arena were Adelaide Osler riding Chromosone (the youth class winner), Tyler Smith on A Hollywood Remedy (who won the non-pro) and Lana Kelderman’s Nu Too Much (who took out the open).

Working equitation is gaining a lot of support as so many riders feel they can “give it a go” without spending a fortune on an expensive horse and outfit.

Christine Staats on Tuppal Winchester had the pleasure of being the Equitana working equitation champion.

With the outside arena dicey after rain, the carriage driving was cancelled but the carriage supporters stand indoors was popular for visitors.

In the FEI events, Jessica Dertell, 18, continues to show her talents, repeating her win in the Australian Dressage Championships winning the grand prix at Equitana on Cennin and the young rider class on Gladstone MH.

Lindsay Ware on Aristede won the freestyle test.

Olympian Shane Rose took out the express eventing, winning the $2500 first prize money on Easy Turn. He then saddled up Virgil to finish eighth in the showjumping grand prix won by Izabella Stone on Oaks Ventriloquist and was fourth in the 1.40m class won by Ally Lamb’s Eagle Rock. Clem Smith riding Quantico won the 1.30m class.


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