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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Clydie surprise, stockman's challenge in SA and clinic dates


ABOVE: Constable Sandra Wilson with her Clydesdale crosses on her graduation day.

CONSTABLE Sandra Wilson is one of the latest recruits to graduate from the Victoria Police Academy.

Prior to joining Victoria Police, Sandra owned and operated a riding school and upon being accepted, sold her two Clydie cross horses – Clay and Ruby – to the Mounted Branch.

As a special surprise, the Mounted Branch organised for Clay and Ruby to be part of the graduation parade last month, reuniting Sandra with her horses. Although they may not be her work mounts she will be able to keep in touch with them.


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WHILE still talking of The Mounties, Senior-Constable Cathy Nix of the NSW Mounted Police Unit has retired after working as a mounted police officer for 33 years.

During her impressive career, she shook hands with and rode for the Queen in England, took part in sometimes violent protests, trained young horses, was part of the squad vaulting team, was a truck driving instructor, led the musical ride at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on numerous occasions, competed in the Police Equestrian Games and was a role model for many new trainees at the Mounties.


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THE Coonalpyn Show, about 140km from Adelaide in South Australia, held a stockman’s challenge as part of its program. There were three Sections – dry pattern, obstacle course and time trial.

Competitors travelled from Yorke Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, Victoria and the South East of the State and competition was keen with open, novice, encourage and junior divisions.

The novice section was won by Jodie Deland-Smith with a clean sweep winning all three sections and overall, something that is very rarely seen at challenges.

Meg Ross won the open on Billie Jean and Shenae Hutton on Smudge won the encourage section at her first attempt. Shenae usually competes in roping and lived in Tasmania before moving to SA.

Tayla Hampel on Dalbrae Martyn won the junior section, their first win at a stockman’s challenge after three tries. He has come from the show ring competing at horse of the year and royal shows to now starring at a new sport.

The judges were Kirsten Aldersey and Josie Jackson.


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THERE’S a really worthwhile interview with Shane Rose talking about the highs and lows of his career on Channel Nine’s Wide World of Sports. It’s well worth searching out. Here’s the link.

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EQUINE Pathways is running an “off horse” camp on December 16 and 17 at the Essendon Fields High Performance Centre in Victoria.

Paralympic Performance coach and mentor Chris Nunn OAM will join them for the clinic, providing a fantastic opportunity for members to work closely with him to gain new skills and boost future performances. Bookings close Wednesday November 16. Booking link.


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THE 2023 Pony Club Australia award winners will be announced on Friday, October 27.

The finalists in the 18-25 years age group, all top candidates for rider of the year, are Emily Newberry of Mooloolah Pony Club, Lily Pettigrew of Matchem Valley Pony Club and Sara Leitch of Hastings Pony Club.

This is just one of the categories. See other finalists on the Pony Club Australia Facebook page.


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THE Riding for the Disabled Association is mourning the passing of life member Doug Denby OAM.

Doug was a respected figure within the equestrian and disability sports communities, known his dedication to the service of people with disabilities through sport.

Doug promoted inclusivity and empowerment in equestrian activities within Riding for the Disabled Australia (RDA) and the Australian Paralympic Committee.

Beyond his work with RDA, Doug served as the RDA representative on the Australian Paralympic Committee and his involvement in the development of para-equestrian events culminated in numerous successful campaigns at international and Paralympic competitions, including team medals in gold and bronze at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics.


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ANOTHER notable passing is that of David (Dave) Maurice, husband of Jo Maurice of the Otway View Shetland Stud. The funeral details will be announced by the family.


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WITH the very strong interest in Interschool equestrian sport, Interschool Queensland with the support of Equestrian Queensland has been appointed as the event organiser for the 2024 Australian Interschool Championships.

The event however, will be held in NSW at the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre at Tamworth.

“We acknowledge that some Queensland members and families would have preferred that the 2024 Australian Interschool Championships was delivered from a venue in Queensland,” a spokesperson said.

“However, we believe that delivering the championships from (Tamworth) offers an unique opportunity for Interschool Queensland to partner with other state branches and interschool committees to deliver an amazing event at a world class equestrian centre for our junior sports stars and their families.”

The championships will be held from September 19 to 23, 2024.


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IT’S time for the clinics to be organised around the country for over the summer break.

On November 18 at 6pm at Werribee Park Equestrian Centre, there will be “an evening” with Christopher Bartle.

For 16 years up to 2016, Christopher was National Coach to the German Olympic three-day event team, winners of team silver and individual gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, team and individual gold medals at the London Olympics in 2012 and previously at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Christopher is British Eventing Team's High Performance Coach, a role he has held since 2017.

Tickets are now on sale through TryBooking


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SHOW Horse Victoria will be running a show horse judge's seminar on Wednesday, December 6, presented by Kerry Patchett and Greg Gerry, with other presenters to be announced soon.

This event is open to financial members of Equestrian Australia who are interested in becoming show horse judges, upgrading, or maintaining your current accreditation.

This seminar will be held online in the evening. Further details for login and materials etc. will be shared closer to the date.



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