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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Flag bearers, a vale, jobs and deodorant up nose not on

ABOVE: The impressive Australian-bred chestnuts. Picture: KIRSTY PASTO

AUSTRALIA’S top two carriage drivers will carry the flag at the World Championships in September at Pratoni in Italy.

Competing for their country will be Boyd Exell with his team of eight horses and Tor Van Den Berge, whose team of six includes the Australian bred chestnuts Carbery Estate Cato and Carbery Estate Chino, owned by Tor Van Den Berge and Carbery Estate.


THE endurance family has lost a treasured member with the recent passing of Graeme Gilbertson. Graeme was a friend to many and will be very much missed.

He will be remembered for his willingness to share his knowledge, with many newcomers to endurance having benefited from his calm and friendly guidance and mentorship. Graeme’s contribution was recognised in 2020 when he became an Honorary Member of NSWERA.

Graeme’s contribution to endurance began when he was invited to spectate at Shahzada in 1991. The following year, after moving to Webbs Creek, Halifax Hayes recruited Graeme to help with Shahzada, and the rest is history. Some of Graeme’s contributions to endurance include being strapper over many years for his wife Jennifer and others, in Australia and at three World Championships.

He served on the NSWERA state management committee for more than 10 years, with three years as president, six years as delegate to the AERA, including as vice president.

He ran education clinics and seminars helping to produce educational videos on endurance, ran schools and trained chief stewards and mentored them.

He was Chef D’Equipe for the Tri Nations Championships in Fauresmith South Africa where Australia won the gold medal and participated on the international scene, including as foreign judge at Australian FEI rides and as support crew for the Australian teams competing in Dubai.


FUTURE Farms Arabians at Bolinda, Victoria, will fling open the gates to the public on August 27 for an open day and stallion parade.

Their sale horses will be on show, as well as the breeding stallions and some of their show team.

There will be food, drinks, live music, a jumping castle for the kids and trade stands. Entry is free. Gates open at 1pm, with the presentation to start at 2pm in an indoor arena so weather won’t be an issue. The address is 277 Kennedys Lane, Bolinda.


EQUESTRIAN Northern Territory has announced the NT Interschool Team that will be travelling to Sydney next month to compete at the 2022 Marcus Oldham Australian Interschool Championships at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre.

They will be representing the NT in jumping, dressage, show horse and combined training.

Members of the team are Indiana Evans (captain), Alia Schmidt (vice captain), Lalwa May, Lily Purdon, Reese Callow, Layne Martin, Kiya Murrihy and Bridie McKenna.

Accompanying the team will be Michael Duckenfield as team manager and EA-qualified coaches Nicole Mutimer and Anne-Marie Cruickshank. Both coaches have been working with all team members throughout the year and will be at the competition to provide them with the best support possible. * THE disciplinary committee of the Danish Warmblood Society has suspended a handler for a one-month period after he was found spraying deodorant in and around a mare's nose at a show.

In a statement signed by Jan Pedersen, president of the Danish warmblood society, it said:

“The Danish Warmblood Disciplinary Committee has just dealt with a case where a muster (handler) at one of the association's mare trials in connection with the presentation of a mare sprayed her in and around the nose with a deodorant spray.

“The incident happened at an in-hand breed show and it’s thought that the deodorant is sprayed in the nose to make horses "more expressive" during the presentation.

“The Danish Riding Association's veterinarian said it was inflicting physical discomfort and pain, and that the act is against the Animal Welfare Act, so the disciplinary committee excluded the handler from participating actively in Dansk Varmblod's events for one month.”


PONY Club Victoria has two vacancies on its board and has put out a call for interested people to apply.

Each director is equally responsible for the proper management, corporate governance and compliance of the association. PCV is happy to hear from anyone, but especially those with financial or accounting experience.


EQUESTRIAN Victoria is also looking to recruit.

They are asking for applications for an event director for the 2023 Interschool State Championships (April 15-19) and the 2023 Interschool National Championships (September – date to be confirmed). The events will be hosted at Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre.

The Victorian Interschool State Championships is a five-day event run in the first term school holidays each year. It features dressage, show jumping, combined training, show horse and sporting horse classes for primary and secondary students aged from 5-18 years. Selected classes provide a pathway to the Australian Interschool Championships. The event attracts approximately 500 competitors from more than 180 schools. *

LIZZY Shirmer has given up her position as director of Dressage and Jumping with the Stars.

Always approachable, quick to answer any requests she will be hard to replace buts says it is time to move on. “Due to my busy work schedule and commitments as well as chairing Dressage Victoria the time has come for me to hand over the reins of my much-loved event,” she said.

The “stars” event features dressage, jumping, eventing, performance pony and led championships. It also hosts the Dressage and Jumping Australian Young Horse Championships and has a dual World Cup in dressage and jumping.

If you are a passionate horse person with great sponsorship contacts and creative flair applications for the position are now being accepted.


AUTHOR Nicholas Evans, who wrote "The Horse Whisperer", has sadly passed away at the age of 72. Evans, an Englishman who had studied law at Oxford, was a journalist, scriptwriter and TV producer. In 1993 he met a blacksmith in the far south-west of England who told him about horse whisperers, and subsequently he went to work on his first novel. Published in 1995, "The Horse Whisperer" sold 15 million copies around the world and was turned into a hit movie starring Robert Redford.

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