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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Big and small contend carriage driving championships

ABOVE: Nicole Linic with Duckponds Chocolate and Apache. Picture: DI AULSEBROOK

THE Victorian Indoor-Outdoor Carriage Driving Championships were held at Huntly north of Bendigo on the weekend.

Organised by the Central Highlands Pleasure Harness Club, the event provided an opportunity for some members to get out and compete before the Royal Melbourne Show, while for others, it was a relaxing day out with their horses and a chance to catch up with friends who share a love of harness.

Club official Di Aulsebrook says the club was very active, with members always ready to give a hand to anyone who wanted to give carriage driving a try.

The discipline is the quiet achiever of horse sports and well suited to horse lovers who are no longer able to ride.

It’s just a matter of finding a little vehicle, have someone teach your pony to pull it and getting your confidence up.

The classes at Huntly were divided by heights with the very small equines section won by Cheryl Shedden driving Grassdale Chip from Eileen Perry driving Konana Park Wildcard.

The class for single ponies under 124cm went to Prue McKechnie’s Weston Park Twilight.

They were second after dressage, third after cones and rose to first after the hazards section.

The single pony up to 149cm was won by Narwarrah Park Remembrance Rose, again driven by Prue, giving her a second blue ribbon for the championships.

In the class for horses over 149cm, Peter Smith’s On Track Park Lucy led from start to finish.

There was just one multiple, with Duckponds Chocolate and Duckponds Apache driven by Nicole Linic taking the blue, but a quality dressage tests followed by good cones and hazards round would have placed them high in any of the other sections.

The event also had a well-filled section for first season competitors, taken out by Linda Byrne driving Beyond Blu Memphis. They were third after the dressage phase, won the cones section and a second in the hazards gave them the win just ahead of Claire Harris and Pan.

The club’s next event will be a combined driving competition in mid-October. The club is also running the 2024 Show Driving Championships to be held at Bendigo on February 11.


(Click any image to expand)

All pictures: DI AULSEBROOK

The contact for the club is Hilary Billett, email

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