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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Honour for Olympian, event results and two deaths

ABOVE: What a legend ... showjumper Ron Easey with his award.

OLYMPIC showjumper Ron Easey is now officially a “legend”.

The Royal Brisbane Show committee bestowed the honour on him at the recent “Ekka”.

Ron has an almost 40-year association with the show, competing in Brisbane’s showjumping competitions since 1984. Not only is Ron a skilled rider having also competed at the Sydney Olympics, he's a mentor and coach to many young riders. They couldn't have a better role model.

The “Ekka Legend” award honours people who have made a remarkable contribution to the Royal Brisbane Show.

The committee confided that they had to keep the surprise from Ron for an entire year, as he was meant to receive the award in 2021 but the Ekka was cancelled due to Covid.


THE show world lost two lovely women in the last month. Judy Cope-Williams, of Cefn-on Parc Stud, Romsey, Victoria bred Welsh Mountain ponies with the Cefn-on Parc prefix for many years, preserving Criban and Bowdler bloodlines.

She was a wonderful supporter of the society for many years, hosting events, offering hospitality and raising funds which now support young member initiatives via the Ken Armstrong Fund.

Bronwyn Bourchier was heavily involved in the Victorian Agricultural Show Society’s Goulburn Valley Riverina Group as secretary for a number of years. She also volunteered at the Saddle Horse Championships. She and her husband Peter were both excellent judges and worked hard for their district events.


THE Hunter Regional Hack Show at the Stonewell Equestrian Centre in NSW became another casualty of the wet weather in NSW on Sunday. The event had to be cancelled after heavy rain the night before flooded the grounds. The committee had been confident the previous day that all would be well, so they and competitors were caught by surprise.

Saturated grounds also knocked out a number of events in Central Victoria.

The Rich River Equestrian Club had to call off its HRCAV Dressage Jackpot Series event at the Elmore Equestrian Park on Saturday due to many of the arenas and yards being under water. Goulburn Valley Equestrian Club’s September rally at Moora was also cancelled after rain.

The dressage competition has been rescheduled to December 3.


MARY Hanna has a new horse. She has bought Yessin Rahmouni's international small tour mount Impress Taonga, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion.

Although he is much bigger and more powerful than Hanna’s usual mounts, she describes him as having three very good paces and “although he is very tall and strong-boned, he is beautiful to sit on and gives me a lovely feeling”.


THE 2022 Victorian Endurance State Championships at Bunyip in Victoria next weekend will take riders through the state forest adjacent to the Tonimbuk Equestrian. Because the area will still be open to other users while the racing takes place, organisers are asking any other horse riders out that day to take care and be aware the competitors will be travelling at pace. “If you are riding on these tracks, they would not mean to scare you or your horse, but they are competing against the clock,” they said.


PARA dressage rider Amelia White and her horse Genius scored a win and two second places at the CPEDI3* in Riesenbeck, Germany.

Amelia and Genius competed in the Grade V division. They scored 71.111 per cent in the individual test 69.341 per cent in the team test and a super 74.892 per cent in the freestyle.

"So super proud of my unicorn,” Amelia said. “Lots to work on as always but slowly we are moving in the right direction and it was the confidence boost we needed.”


THE UK carriage driver known as “Mr Private Driving” is coming to Australia later this month.

Gary Docking will arrive in Perth on September 28 to judge the harness classes at the Perth Royal Show. He will then hold a series of carriage driving clinics in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria.

His Victorian clinic at Elmhurst will follow the Australian Carriage Driving Society’s Victorian Show Driving Championships on October 29.

More information can be obtained from the Pyrenees Range Pleasure Driving Club on 0438 272 86.


BOYD Exell has won the individual four-star carriage driving championship at the Baborówko Driving Show in Poland. Daniel Schneiders, of Austria, was second and Anna Sandmann, of Germany, third.

What made Australian carriage driving fans even happier was that Exell and fellow Australian Tor Van Den Berge placed second in the Nations Cup teams event even though they only had a team of two. Germany won the event and Poland placed third.


DRESSAGE Tasmania’s Southern Zone’s first Come and Try No Jackets No Plaiting and Teams Event Day held at the Tasmanian Equestrian Centre on August 28 was the perfect season opener.

The sun was shining, riders were smiling (no plaiting does it every time ) and everyone had a fantastic day in the spirit of what sport is about.

The teams dressage event was the idea of Tania Hay to increase participation and inclusiveness in sport and set up friendships and team building between riders. It was hotly contested with minimal differences in scores between teams.

Congratulations to the winners Three Blind Mice (Jess Woolnough, Tracey Johnston and Naomi Day) who edged out the Fire Breathing Dragons (Heather Stewart, Leanne Moore and Tracey Johnston), Team X (Jody Rybarczyk, Heather Stewart and Leanne Moore), Team C (Jess Woolnough, Mel Cowen and Naomi Day) and The Boyz (Tristan Merritt, Henry Mundy and Kye Ford) .

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