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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Arilla Cup sets the scene for Australian championship

ABOVE: Arilla Cup winner Olivia Hamood and Knock Out 111. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG PHOTOGRAPHY

BONEO Park on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is the centre of the equestrian world universe at present. It hosted the Australian Dressage championships last month, and then the Arilla Showjumping Cup last weekend, and next weekend the finest of Australia’s showjumping riders will compete for the

With more than $100,000 in prizemoney to be won, 700 horses and 400 riders are entered to compete.

At the Arilla Cup event, many of the top guns used the show as their warm up classes.

Olivia Hamood on Knock Out 111 took out the main event and she will no doubt be looking next week to repeat her Australian Championships win of last year.

Gemma Creighton, who was second in the class on Dada Des Brimbelles Z, will also have high hopes for the event, hoping to emulate her four-time Australian Champion father, Guy Creighton.

James Paterson-Robinson has represented Australia in showjumping and has a special young horse coming through in Dublin, on which he won the Mini Prix at The Arilla Cup.

ABOVE: James Paterson-Robinson and Dublin. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG PHOTOGRAPHY

Frida Lindgren and Mabobri De Mabribo were second and Gemma Creighton was third with It's Silkbridge.

Becky Jenkins made the long trip down from Queensland worthwhile winning the Future Stars Championship with Incredible C.

The Victoria Racing Club is a strong sponsor of the Off-The-Track Championship and had champion jockey Jamie Kah and her retired racehorse Brax to show off the Lexus Melbourne Cup. Jamie has several OTT horses and competes when she can fit a competition into her busy schedule.

Chloe Versteegen took out the Young Rider championship on Pico Bellini, Jack Barker won the Youth Championship on Tulara Colchi and Zara Adnams won the Children's Championship with Tally Ho Primrose.

With the Australian championships coming up this weekend, a little history on one of the country’s most famous events will give readers the idea of its importance.

The first championships were held at Deniliquin in the NSW Riverina, organised by a very strong group of showjumping enthusiasts. It was won by the great Kevin Bacon on Ted Dwyer’s Ocean Foam.

The following year, also at Deniliquin, Art Uytendaal had the first of his three wins on Brahmin.

The event moved to Melbourne for two years then to Sydney, and has rotated since. It has been at Boneo Park for the last three occasions. Great horse’s names on the trophy include, Red Kling, Bonvale, Cygnet Rambler, Rajah, Trafalger Square, Silvaneer and Vivant.

Riders include John Fahey, Jeff Evans, Kevin Bacon, Bert Jacobs, Wayne Roycroft, Peter Mullins and Gavin Chester.

Only six women have won the title: Marianne Gilchrist, Vicki Roycroft, Colleen Brooke, Amber Fuller Gail Hunter-Powell and Olivia Hamood.

ABOVE: Tahlia Pursell and Astro Nzph. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG PHOTOGRAPHY
ABOVE: Tahlia Spagnardi and Yirrkala C'est La Vie. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG PHOTOGRAPHY

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