top of page
  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Nina a star, Timor request, top level winners & an accident

ABOVE: Nina Harris gives an insight into her life with partner Barty in remote NT.

THERE was such a strong response to the Nina Harris story last week on what it’s like living in the outback and doing dressage.

For anyone who would like to continue following her story, Nina has created her own Facebook page.

Called “Dressage with a Distance”, she says “thank you to Fran from The Regional for contacting me about the journey I make from Dunmarra to Darwin to complete with my two horses. I follow many other riders on social media and gain inspiration from them. So I thought I would like to share my story and if it inspired just one person to take a chance at something they love doing, well it will be worth it.”

Follow the page here: Dressage with a distance


THE Werribee Park Summer Horse Show is running an APSB rare breeds ring on January 14 and the Timor Pony Group, which is one of the rarest of the featured breeds, is asking for a hand to make sure it a great display.

“Please support not only us, but all the APSB rare ponies so we can see them all in the same place on the same day,” said Timor breeder Barb Bleicher.

Barb is hoping to take two stallions and two mares but needs assistance if anyone has some time to help get them ready, to the show and help promote the breed on the day.

There will also be purebred led and ridden classes for Haflingers, Fjords, Dartmoors, Highlands, Connemaras and New Forest Ponies.

Barb can be contacted through the Timor Pony Group Facebook page.


PLEASE be wary, there are scams everywhere. We are all getting used to ignoring the offers to live stream events that would seldom be streamed but now, coming into Christmas, there are some pretending to supply horsy gifts.

These are so devious they even steal genuine people’s photos to lure unsuspecting buyers in. Make absolutely sure you check the profile of every seller before buying anything.


JUST two weeks after winning the Arilla Cup at Boneo Park with Jaybee Ballon D'or, Tori Stuckey had an accident at Whittlesea show. She was putting studs in when a horse trod on her and she was severely injured.

Tori is in the Royal Melbourne hospital with a damaged liver and kidney and a pierced lung. She has undergone a surgery and is in a stable condition in intensive care. She is heavily medicated and will require another surgery in the next few days. We wish her the best.


THE Katherine Quilty Memorial Leading Lady Rider Award is presented to the leading lady rider each year at the Australian Jumping Championships.

This special award is in memory and honour of Katherine, much loved mother, partner, daughter, sister and dearest of friends to many in the showjumping community.

Previous recipients of the award have been: 2014 Brooke Campbell, 2015 Ally Lamb, 2016 Vicki Roycroft, 2017 Rebecca Jenkins, 2018 and 2019 Katie Laurie and in 2021 and 2022, Olivia Hamood. This year, in recognition of her results over the course of the show, this honour went, once again, to Olivia Hamood.


THE Young Dressage Association is a very inclusive club and is proud to announce the official opening of the para-equestrian mounting ramp on Saturday at their official competition.

Partially funded by the local sports grant program from the NSW Government, the ramp has been specially built by Glenn Gault.

With the ramp complete, the club looks forward to welcoming para-riders, offering two tests of choice at the November competition.


THE Australian Endurance Riders Association (AERA) recently made public two adverse analytical findings (positive swabs) involving the controlled medication salicylic acid from blood samples taken at the AERA affiliated Stirling’s Classic event held in Imbil, Qld on April 30.

Salicylic acid is a metabolite of aspirin, an anti-inflammatory similar to phenylbutazone (“bute”) that could be used to enhance equine performance. However, it is also occurring naturally in a number of plants and, because of this, has a threshold value in blood below which a sample containing salicylic acid is not deemed to be a positive swab. One of the plants that contains salicylic acid is lucerne, commonly given to horses as lucerne hay.

AERA is aware of a number of other positive swabs involving salicylic acid in non-endurance disciplines and is also aware the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory, the facility that analyses endurance (and other) samples, is investigating whether one or more batches of lucerne hay in the marketplace contain higher than usual amounts of salicylic acid.

The responsible persons for the two positive swabs chose to deal with the matter by accepting to be disqualified from the event, and if relevant, the forfeiture of any prizes and awards, a fine of $1500 and costs of $1000.

AERA is monitoring the situation and will provide further information as it becomes available.


SIMONE Pearce and her Olympic mount Destano showed they are aiming for Paris with a decisive win in Slovakia. Simone expressed her delight afterwards.

“After a year and a half away from the competition arena he has returned in style taking out the Grand Prix at CDIW Motesice with 73.8 per cent and today winning the World Cup freestyle with just a smidge under 80 per cent.

“Of course we need to regain a bit of routine and polish everything up, but it was such a beautiful experience to be back with him at a show and to have him feel so happy to be back in the game. Giving me his absolute all was just the most precious magical experience I could have dreamt of.”


ANOTHER Australian also won in his chosen discipline, but we have come to expect this. Boyd Exell has his sights set on an incredible 11th title with a win in the first round of the new FEI Driving World Cup season at Lyon.

He won by five points ahead of Ijsbrand Chardon, despite a ball falling in the speed round. “One of the leading horses hit the ball at obstacle three with his nose,” Boyd said. “I steered him very sharply to the obstacle, that is a bit of the risk of indoor marathons. I took care of the horses yesterday by not driving at top speed. So I said, ‘Come on guys. Yesterday I saved you, now it’s time to give a bit extra.’ They did a great job. I was able to speed up really well.”


THE Equestrian Victoria coaching committee is searching for dressage, jumping and eventing demonstration riders for an incredible learning opportunity at the Progressive Assessment Day on November 22.

This is a chance to improve your skills and grab a good opportunity to expose your horses, with free facility fees and lunch provided. You don't have to be riding at a high level to participate. They require riders for introductory coaches as well.


THE Star Club Equestrian program, which caters for intellectually disabled riders in NSW, has shared an interesting link to an article on what it is like to be a neurodivergent equestrian. Here’s the link.

Stories on The Regional’s website are free to read and always will be.

If you enjoyed this article you can show your support by joining our mailing list (either by filling out the form below or sending us a message).

We'd also get very excited if you put a "like" on our Facebook page.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page