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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: VERA champion, China selections & $9.5m offered for horse

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

ABOVE: Victoria and Tracy cross the line together. Picture: LOUISE MACKEY

TRACY Brandon and TMB ES Pure Silver, from South Australia, and Victoria Bice on Oso Dizzyare, Victoria, crossed the line together at the 2023 Victorian Endurance Association championships at the weekend, completing the 160km course at Mia Mia in just over 11 hours.

Tracy, being the middleweight rider, becomes the 2023 Victorian State Champion, with Victoria taking out the lightweight section. First heavyweight to finish was Russell Gillingham on Ennerdale Rubik and the junior was Ben Riebeling riding Oso Red Revolution.

Fourteen of the 23 starters completed the course, set on private farmland over an undulating track.

Next year’s championships will be held at Eldorado.


FOUR lucky pony club members will be packing their bags soon and enjoying the trip of a lifetime.

After receiving a high volume of quality submissions, Pony Club Australia has announced the team selected for the 2023 China exchange in December. They are:

  • Amarlie New - Crompton Park Pony Club (Qld)

  • Isabelle Cox - Esperance Pony Club (WA)

  • Zac Boland - Cobar Pony Club (NSW)

  • Charlie Hiscock- Hamilton Pony Club (Vic)

The team coach/manager is Carol Hobson (Tasmania), who has experience with previous tours to China. She will be supported by Ray Oliver (also from Tasmania), who has been involved in pony club for 23 years, mainly as a course designer and assessor. Jacqui Larson (Qld) will be in China for rider assessments and will also support the team on the ground when they arrive.


WE’VE always had a soft spot for heavy horses. One has featured again this week at the Harcourt stockman’s challenge. In England at the Horse of the Year Show, Big Al, bred Alistair King by Moorland Edward, won the Barber Family British ridden heavy horse of the year championship.

The competition that began in 2016 had two judges, one to ride the horses and one heavy horse specialist.

The winner was described as a proper example of the breed.


WHILE still speaking of heavy horses, the Australian Draught Horse Stud Book Society is mourning the death of member Yvonne Hatch. Yvonne was an integral part of Marlie Stud and her passion for the Suffolk Punch was evident through her work.

She will be missed by all those whose lives she touched.


THE champion racehorse Subzero and his best friend Graham Salisbury have been remembered at Flemington Racecourse by Victoria Racing Club with the unveiling of the Salisbury Subzero Memorial Rose Garden.

The industry’s most popular ambassadors were long time favorites and their public appearances allowed children to get up close and personal with the lovely grey.


WANGARATTA TAFE campus is looking for horses or ponies over 13hh for experienced farrier apprentices to shoe on October 26.

Horses or ponies need to be well handled for shoeing. Apprentices are under supervision of a master farrier trainer and assessor. This is counted as an assessment for apprentices in third and fourth year-level who are currently shoeing horses in industry.

If you would like your horse or pony shod for free, message Nina Lewis on 0419 513 788.


THE community has rallied behind a fundraiser to replace vandalised jumps on the Ballarat Pony Club’s cross country course.

A Go Fund Me campaign started by the Friends of Ballarat Eventing Association just a week ago has exceeded its target with more than $11,000 pledged to undertake the work.

The club was devastated when the jumps were burnt on September 30 after so much work had gone into building and maintaining the course.


WOULD you like to represent Australia in endurance riding?

The ultimate goal of many Australian endurance riders is to “get a buckle” - to successfully compete in and complete a Tom Quilty Gold Cup, the national championship event.

However, there are other lofty peaks to aspire to, with international endurance events held regularly including:

  • World Endurance Championships

  • World Equestrian Games

  • World Endurance Championships for Junior and Young Riders

  • World Endurance Championships for Young Horses

The Australian Endurance Riders Association (AERA) has a formal affiliation agreement with Equestrian Australia (EA), the peak body for equestrian sport in Australia. International endurance competition is facilitated by and through EA.

Earlier this year, in collaboration with AERA, EA published an “Endurance Pathways” guide which details the requirements to participate in endurance riding at all levels - from your first 20km introductory ride right through to world championship events.


MEMBERS of Equestrian Australian have been receiving unsolicited marketing emails.

EA says it is reviewing this situation and will address the issue with the relevant parties.


THE price for top quality young showjumpers is off the scale. Buyers have offered the owners of the Cornet Obolensky gelding named Gmail more than $A9.5 million for the seven-year-old.

The horse jumped at the WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championship for Young Horses in September, then went on to Valkenswaard for the WBFSH Jumping Global Champions Trophy, where he won a seven-year-old qualifier and helped the Anglo European Studbook team to silver.

“All the top people want to buy him but we want to keep hold of him,” his rider Leo Lamb said, confirming that he and his mother, who bred and owns the horse, had turned the offer down.


THE new owners of Boneo Park have been revealed as QLV, an Australian-owned tourism, leisure, and sport facility developer "whose mission is to rejuvenate regional communities through projects that enhance their unique cultural, heritage and natural strengths".

“QLV’s vision for Boneo Park was to build upon the solid foundations of its world-class equestrian facilities and Arilla restaurant, while honouring the park’s breathtaking landscape of wetlands, woodlands and coastal plains," QLV chief executive Danny Marwood said.

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