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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: New pony club patron, weight restrictions and sales


ABOVE: Our “bits” cover image this week comes from the very talented Jos Flint, a photographer from north-west Tasmania who publishes her work through the Facebook page “Mengha’s Back Paddock”. Jos and her family are keen horse people and Jos always has her camera handy whether in the saddle or out. These two naughty boys captured in a bit of rough play are brothers who, more often than not, do get on. Jos says they were actually fighting over a chocolate Teddy Bear biscuit.

PONY Club Australia has announced that Dr Andrew McLean has been chosen as patron for the next two years. Andrew is well known to the pony club community as a past member, coach, mentor and director. Pony Club Australia’s globally-recognised rider syllabus was inspired by Andrew's leadership. “It was important for the PCA board to select a patron with a national and international profile, personal connection to pony club and who demonstrates the values of the organisation,” it said.


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BRITISH Dressage has introduced guidelines on maximum rider weight for 2023 as part of its code of conduct for equine welfare.

It is recommended that, from January, the maximum load carried by any horse or pony should not exceed 20 per cent of its total body weight “based on a horse with a ‘good’ condition score”. The decision is already causing debate.


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THE Equestrian world has been saddened by the passing of Jack Rae OAM,

Jack will be remembered for his service to the RASV, Berwick and Dandenong show societies and a regular attendee at VAS meetings and annual conferences. He was a friend to many and a loyal servant of the agricultural show industry.

A memorial service will be held at the Jack Rae Pavilion, Akoonah Park, 2 Cardinia St, Berwick (cnr Princes Hwy) on Saturday, 17 December, at 12 noon followed by refreshments.


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IN a surprising announcement, Willinga Park has announced a major reduction sale of stock horses to be held at the Willinga Park Equine Facility at 12 noon on Saturday, March 11, 2023.

Comprising 33 registered ridden horses, 22 registered led yearlings, 10 registered brood mares, the pre-work viewing will be on Friday afternoon, March 10.


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JODIE Barnes’ beautiful mare, Cil Dara Cosmic, ridden by Jodie's mother Dianne Barnes at the World Championships has died. She had been retired after she arrived home from the event and had been enjoying her time in the paddock.

Jodie bought “Stella” as a three-year-old and trained her to Grand Prix. When Di was diagnosed with Parkinson's and Dystonia Jodie offered Stella to her mum to ride. Together all three travelled to Denmark for the FEI World Championships where Jodie was Stella's groom. *


EXPRESSIONS of interest for 2023 Oceania Eventing Championships close next week. They will be hosted by Equestrian Sports NZ in Hastings, New Zealand, from March 9 to 12. Australia will field one Senior Team and one Young Rider Team.


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THE champion showjumping horse at Whittlesea’s Agricultural Show in Victoria was Russell Johnstone’s Daprice, but the most popular ride at the show was young rider Ena Bloomfield and Warnie’s win in the Jack Eadon Memorial 1.20m class.

Jack Eadon was one of the first bright faces you saw when you entered Whittlesea. His years of dedication as a volunteer, steward and judge for many other agricultural shows was unlimited. He was generous, helpful and cheeky. Jack considered the 1.20m was the heart of showjumping and that is why this class is so appropriate for his memorial events.


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ONE of Australia’s most famous Australian Pony Studs is being dispersed. Established in 1974, and producing champions under saddle an in hand at almost every major show in Australia, Kooyong Australian Ponies at Harcourt is selling its beautiful herd of mares, plus geldings and the current stallion. “The time has come cut back," owner Stuart Ryan said. "I have back problems so showing in hand is difficult. We will just concentrate on the harness ponies now.”


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THIS is the last edition of Horse News for the year. Thank you for your support since we took over the coverage in May. It was a bit of a surprise move but every indication is that our work each week is appreciated. Enjoy your Christmas/New Year break and we will see you again on January 18.



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