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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Light horse tribute, royal rumor and show moves north

ABOVE: Light horsemen watering their horses. Picture: AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL

A TRIBUTE to the 4th Battalion of Australian Light Horsemen who took part in the Charge of Beersheba 106 years ago will be held at the Lone Pine/ANZAC Memorial at the Kyabram Cemetery on October 31 at 6pm.

Several horses and their uniformed riders will be the centrepiece.

After the formalities and wreath-laying ceremony, families are encouraged to mingle with the horsemen and their mounts. There will also be a free sausage sizzle put on by the Henley Friends group.

The charge of the 4th Australian Light Horse at Beersheba late in the afternoon of October 31, 1917, is remembered as the last great cavalry charge. Around 800 Light Horsemen charged across open desert with bayonets in hand and flew over the Turk trenches to capture the town of Beersheba and gain access to much-needed water wells.

The commemoration is being organised jointly by the Kyabram and Girgarre RSLs, Kyabram Cemetery Trust, Kyabram Club and the Kyabram Historical Society.


GOOD news. Contrary to rumours that suggested Royal Melbourne Show’s horse and cattle classes would not be held at the Ascot Vale Showgrounds but moved to Ballarat next year, their media office has confirmed that the 2024 Melbourne Royal Show at Melbourne Showgrounds will feature cattle and Horses in Action. The 2024 Melbourne Royal Show will be held from Thursday September 26 to Sunday October 6.


IT’S time to start getting excited about the Paris Olympics. Expressions of interest for competitors across all disciplines are now open. Hopefuls have until the end of the month to put up their hands to be considered for nomination to the Australian 2024 Olympic Equestrian Team.

It’s a very simple process involving just seven basic questions. Here’s the link if you are interested in taking a look (or nominating!)


The FEI President has welcomed the announcement by the International Olympic Committee that equestrian sport is officially confirmed in the initial sports program for Los Angeles 2028.

“However, this is only a first step. The equestrian events and the quota for LA will only be decided after Paris 2024”.


THE former editor of Rider Magazine, Shirley Clifford, died last week. The great and much loved personality in the horse world was 88 and suffering from ovarian cancer. Typical of Shirley’s strength of character, she chose to end her life peacefully with voluntary assisted dying.


ONE of the most popular residents at the Living Legends property near Tullamarine Airport, the baldy-faced champion Apache Cat, has celebrated his 21st birthday.

Affectionately known as Patch, the iconic sprinter has a personality as big as his stride and is a wonderful ambassador for retired racehorses.

His carers say the eight-time group one winner thrives on attention, often stealing the show during guided tours as he poses for photos and entertains guests.


THE 58th Victorian Stud Pony Show will move to Tatura Park on December 16 and 17.

In exciting news, they also welcome Joanne Griffin from the UK to judge at the show. Joanne is a much-decorated judge and competitor and will be judging show hunters, Welsh and Native Ponies.

This year, they will be using a new entry system – – for entries, camping and stabling. Entries will be open in the coming days.

Entries close 5pm Friday, November 24.


WITH the fire season approaching, the Diamond Creek fire brigade has urged people to make sure their horses can be identified if they are lost during a fire.

It is often suggested that as part of bushfire preparations, horse owners should write their mobile phone number on the hooves of the animal but this is not the current or best advice.

Horse owners in an emergency situation are encouraged to write a mobile number in very large figures on the body of the animal.

This is because the numbers are far less likely to rub off and no one has to approach a potentially stressed out and agitated large animal to see the number.


LOVERS of horse movies are offered the chance to celebrate 40 years of Australian Cinema Classics when Phar Lap starring Tom Burlinson and written by David Williamson will be shown at the Astor theatre in St Kilda on Sunday, November 6.

There will be a Q and A with Tom Burlinson on stage. Follow this link for details.


THE chief executive of Pony Club WA, Rick Gill, has retired.

While the board searches for a replacement, Tanya Appleby has been appointed as the interim CEO. “Tanya has been with Pony Club WA for more than three years,” the board said. “She has a deep understanding of our business and our industry, and we are confident that she will guide us through this transition period.”

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