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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bendigo club puts in top effort to win three-phase championships

ABOVE: Michele Bryant of the Ovens Valley Classical Riders Club on Honda Silhouette. Picture: GRAIN & MANE

WHILE the Equestrian Federation of Australia has morphed over the years to focus on the elite level of equestrian sport, it has to a large extent forgotten the grass roots competitors.

Many of these riders have found a new home in the Horse Riding Clubs Association of Victoria (HRCAV) that currently has 244 member Clubs with 6000 individual members spread across Victoria and parts of NSW and South Australia.

The HRCAV caters for a wide range of riders who enjoy the social aspect of club membership as well as access to the extensive competition system.

Riders can compete in five levels in dressage, showjumping, horse trials, navigation rides and three-phase equitation in individual events or “top teams” championships on horses of every possible size shape and breed.

Three-phase equitation is discipline that’s becoming more and more popular every year, with big numbers of riders willing to give it a try.

It asks for the rider to do a dressage test at their own level followed by an obstacle course (over bridges, opening gates and other tasks) judged on style and then another obstacle course in another arena judged on speed and accuracy.

ABOVE: The top teams three-phase champions Sandra Grinton, Tony Blanchard, Lynn MacIntyre and Lucy Purcell.

The 2023 Top Teams Three Phase championship held at Oxley was won by the No Bull from the Bendigo and District Family Equestrian Group: Tony Blanchard riding Easy, Lucy Purcell on Keno, Sandra Grinton on CN Midnight Jasper and Lynn MacIntyre and Jazdan Night Wish.

Individually, the level one section went to Kay Harding on Jirrima Candyman form the Gerogery Equestrian Club, level two winner was Kirsten Wheatley riding Mon Star for the Yarrawonga/Mulwala Adult Riding Club.

In level three it was Tony Blanchard on Easy for the Bendigo and District Family Equestrian Group while level four was divided into two sections won by Diane McCann riding Hank for the Moorooduc Saddle Club and Danielle Rollings’ Jonte from Ironbark Equestrian Club.

The level five winner was Sabina Helmgens riding Grenwood Blue Rose for the Ovens Valley Classical Riders group.

There were also special awards. In the off-the-track section, winners were Penny Beard’s I’m Miss Coffee, Lauren Stone’s Dakota Eagle and Jill Wescombe’s Cutting Rein. Remarkably all three competed in level three four and five. The Hero awards for Standardbreds went to Jodie Thompson’s Tramel Surprise and Natasha Mahr’s Strover.

ABOVE: Jo Martin and Acacia Park Boudicea riding for Moorooduc Saddle Club. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: Wangaratta’s Maddison Hogan and Wirrungulla Cobber. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: Nadia David from Yackandandah riding Pipersrun Captain Thunderbolt. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: Danielle Rollings from Ironbark Equestrian Club on Jonte. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: Kay Harding and Jirrima Candyman from Gerogery Equestrian Club. Picture: GRAIN & MANE

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