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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Health scare for Olympian, Standardbred survey and overseas news

ABOVE: Mary Hanna will continue a light training schedule. Picture: KIRSTY PASTO

AUSTRALIAN dressage great Mary Hanna has told friends that she has been diagnosed with skin cancer and will undergo treatment in the next six weeks. She will be riding and training on a light schedule.

"I am finding it hard work to explain to friends , family and clients what’s happening in my life right now, so I have decided to just put it out there," she wrote. "I recently had a SSC (cancer) removed from my face. Scans show it travelled up a nerve. I will now undergo six weeks of daily radiation treatment and weekly chemotherapy."

We wish Mary all the best with her treatment.


FOLLOWING on the great success of the Australian riders at the Virtis Games, four equestrian athletes will ride for Australia in the equestrian section of the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin.

Karen Messmer, Oliver King, Jaye Barnesby and Isabella Parisi will compete at their first World Games on borrowed horses in dressage, English trail and equitation.


AUSTRALIA'S young carriage driver Ruby Lawrence has achieved FEI three-star driver status, winning the pairs competition at the international driving event at Buhl.

At just 19, Ruby carries on the family history of great women drivers, with her mother and grandmother champions in the sport.


THE Australian Stock Horse Society is offering a 50 per cent discount for new members fees.

It’s a great opportunity to join the ASHS family and be part of the largest pleasure and performance horse breed Society in the country.

For enquiries contact them on or phone (02) 6545 1122

The society is also offering a level one judges workshop at Tocal NSW on July 15 and 16.

These workshops are available to ASHS members and presented over a two-day interactive workshop by an ASHS judges assessor, including presentations, video analysing and practical judging activities.

Tocal has a number of accommodation options that can be viewed by visiting:

Please sent your EOI to: info@ashs, *

EDWINA Tops-Alexander and Fellow Castlefield were the only clear round inside the time to win the LGCT Grand Prix of Madrid.

They claimed the top spot and the majority of the nearly $A800,000 prize pool. It was Tops-Alexander’s 27th LGCT podium. She also collected her golden ticket to the Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix. The talented combination will jump in Prague later this year aiming to repeat history when she won the first ever LGCT Super Grand Prix in 2018.

Speaking to GCTV after her win an emotional Tops-Alexander smiled: “I have to say, the atmosphere here in Madrid is just amazing. It's electric, it's so exciting, and the crowd is just incredible. I would like to thank Fellow’s owner Athina Onasiss. His last grand prix was at Valkenswaard in August last year, he then had a little setback and I needed to give him a little bit of time to build up his fitness.

“He’s not a particularly fast horse so I was quite worried. He spooked to number one, I had to do one more from (jumps) 1 to 2 and then I was very worried about my time. I had to really, really stay focused, and on top of it and try to jump clear and be slick.”


AS part of a Masters project, the University of Melbourne is looking for Standardbred owners help with research investigating people’s purchasing patterns of horses in Australia. The research will investigate the health and behaviour of horses as they move between homes, and the overall satisfaction of the new owners.

Whilst this research will be of interest and benefit to all breed and equestrian groups, the thesis will be specifically about the use, health, behaviour and owner satisfaction of horses that have retired from racing.

This is the first time that research of this kind has been done on Standardbreds.

They are looking for people who have owned their horse or pony for more than 12 months, are over 18, and live in Australia.

The Researcher, Anni Blanch says: “I would be most grateful to anyone who would be happy to take this survey. It should only take between five to 10 minutess, is completely anonymous and you can opt out at any time. We are keen to get as big a cross section of breeds and activities as possible.


THERE is, for some reason, a lot of sulking among horse owners when they are reminded they are required to have a PIC – property identification code, in Victoria, but it’s only common sense. If there’s a flood, fire or disease outbreak you may need to be contacted. By law, if you keep horses, you need a PIC. It is also the law to have one if you keep a horse on your property – even if it’s temporary.

Getting a PIC is quick and free.

You will need: Your contact information, type and number of livestock you keep and parcels of land with animals. At least read up on it so you understand.


EQUESTRIAN Australia has named the eventing Team for the CCIO4*-S competition to be held at CHIO Aachen, Germany from June 30 to July 1.

The team is Rebecca Braitling and Caravaggio owned by Arnell Sporthorses, Lauren Burnell, Bill Levett eventing and Sligo Candy Cane owned by Elizabeth Murdoch and Bill Levett, Shenae Lowings and Bold Venture, owned by Leanne Lowings, Mark Lowings and Shenae Lowings and Kevin McNab Eventing and Miss Pepperpot owned by Rebecca Stones and Toby Duthie.

The reserve is Sarah Clark and LV Balou Jeanz owned by Colin Clark, Gill Clark, Linda Clark and Sarah Clark.

Andrew Hoy and Cadet de Beliard, owned by Odaria and Shane Finemore, will contest the Merkur Cup Jump and Drive on the Saturday night. This class is a team relay combining jumping, eventing and driving competitions.


THE driving team for the CAIO4* at CHIO Aachen has also been announced. It comprises Boyd Exell with horses Celviro, Checkmate, Hero, Ivor and Mad Max 81 and Tor Team Van Den Berge with horses Carbery Estate Cato, Carbery Estate Chino, Indiana, Jeebert and Kerosine woll comete. Exell will also contest the Merkur Cup Jump and Drive.

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