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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Medals for NT rider, Aussies in Italy and dressage award winners

ABOVE: Luke Purtill with his medals.

NORTHERN Territory rider Luke Purtill has won a silver and bronze medal at the National Games for athletes with an intellectually disability in Queensland. The event was a qualifier for the Special Olympics that will be held in Germany in 2023. Selection is still some months away and his placings keep him in the running for a spot on the Australian team.


THE Australian Equestrian eventing team has headed for Pratoni, Italy, for a tilt at World Championship glory.

Australia took team silver in Japan last summer where Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos also claimed individual bronze.

At 63 years of age he’s a veteran of eight Olympic Games, during which he has won three team gold medals. At the last World Championships he finished just off the podium, in fourth place individually, with this same horse. Hoy is joined by Tokyo team-mates Kevin McNab with Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam and Shane Rose partnering Virgil, while Shanae Lowings (Bold Venture) and Hazel Shannon (Willingapark Clifford) complete the line-up.

Our five-times World Championship winning carriage driver Boyd Exell will be out to add to his record, and Tor Van Den Berge will also represent his country.

It all starts on Wednesday September 14. Click here for more details.


A TEAM of dedicated quarantine officers is ensuring some of the world’s most valuable shuttle stallions are happy, healthy and won’t pose a biosecurity risk while on stud duties in Australia.

The 55 horses – hailing from Europe, Japan, the USA and Canada, and worth a combined $450 million – have touched down in Australia for the southern hemisphere Thoroughbred breeding season.

They are referred to as “shuttle” stallions as they are “shuttled” between the northern and southern hemispheres to align with the relevant breeding season.

A few of the horses are destined to the famous studs in NSW’s Hunter region, with others heading off to studs in Victoria and QLD. On average, a Thoroughbred stallion will cover between 150 and 200 mares per breeding season.

Many stallions have a dedicated groom that travels with them on the flight to Australia and continues to care for them at each destination while in Australia. These grooms will then fly out with the stallions when they return overseas for the northern hemisphere breeding season in January 2023.


HESSELHOJ Down Town, the 2021 World Young Horse Champion and this year's World Championship Young Horse silver medal winner, has been sold to Rosalind Oatley, mother of Australian Olympian Kristy Oatley and grandmother of 15-year-old German junior rider Rose Oatley.

The six-year-old Danish warmblood stallion will be ridden by Rose.

“Rose has made a great start as a junior rider on Rock Revolution and Veneno," Kristy said. "Because it takes time to build a new partnership, we have chosen to search for a young horse that she can get to know while continuing to compete with Rock Revolution and Veneno. It's hard to find a well-trained horse, so we decided to look for a promising young horse to move up the levels.”


DO you have a fabulous Club? Coach? Volunteer? Rider? Nominate them now for the 2022 Pony Club Australia Awards. Click here for the criteria and here for the nomination form.


DO you love Clydesdale and heavy horses? A unique event for the North West Tasmania is being held for the first time at Railton October 15. The day will consist of long reining, ridden and carriage driving and is being organised by the Apple Isle Carriage Driving Inc.


SIMONE Pearce and Fiderdance competed in the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle competition at the Longines FEI WBFSH World Breeding Dressage Championships on Sunday, finishing on the podium again.

The pair scored 78.565 per cent, claiming second place. The class was won by Great Britain’s Lottie Fry and Everdale on a score of 84.335 per cent, while Denmark’s Anna Kasprzak and Addict de Massa finished third on 77.710 per cent. Simone and Fiderdance placed third in the Grand Prix with a score of 71.609 per cent on Saturday.


THE Tasmanian Dressage Group announced their annual Horse of the Year awards last week. The winners were:

The Young Rider of the Year was Aysha Kemp.

The Small Tour Horse of the year was Her Royal Ruby, Penelope Moore.

The Small Tour Pony of The Year was Wembleybrook Sergio, Michelle Milne The Advanced Horse of The Year was Mr Shirvington, Annalise Britt

The Advanced Pony of the Year was Sheldene Benallen, Leanne Moore

The Medium Horse of the Year was MS Cocktail, Kaitlyn Redford

The Elementary Horse of the Year was Debussy Amy Griffith

The Elementary Pony of the Year was Fairfield Staccato, Lucy Johnson

The Novice Horse of the Year was Heathmont Furst Dancer, Kim Phillips.


NAOMI McGaffin and Kelkette Park Faris took out the 2022 Victorian State Endurance Championships hosted at Tonimbuk Equestrian Centre on the weekend.

Naomi, who competed in the middleweight division, was first over the line, placing within the top five horses. Faris was the best conditioned middleweight horse. She also received the owner/trainer/rider award in memory of Tamara Atkinson.

First finished in the lightweight division was Angela Hawks and Count Yianni and Poppy Kettlewell and Al-Marah Grand Imogen were the junior winners. There were no results in the heavyweight division. Of the 30 starters in the championships, 18 successfully completed the course.

The ride was a test-run for the Quilty Gold Cup, which will be held over the same course in 2023.

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