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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Noorat Show a boomer, Tenterfield Saddlery sells and bushfire fundraiser

ABOVE: Leah Kinman from Mortlake and her Standardbred gelding Slim Shadow. One of the beautiful images captured at this year's Noorat Show.

NOORAT Agricultural Society’s annual show this year was a record-breaker.

At a time when many shows are struggling with declining attendance, Noorat bucked the trend and welcomed thousands through its gates on November 18.

What’s the secret of this little community in south-west Victoria? You might have to go next year to find out. The show has a terrific horse program and is a VASA qualifier so save the date – Saturday, November 16, 2024.

In the meantime, we highly recommend having a look at this fabulous gallery of photos from this year’s show by Glenn Wilson, Joanne Dixon and Patrick Caruana to get you in the mood.

And here's the 2023 horse program so you can see what you missed out on and plan for 2024. (We love the "Country Section".)

Noorat Show horse program 2023
Download PDF • 18.07MB


THE amazing coachman Boyd Exell and his team took his third win from three events in the new FEI Driving World Cup series at the 37th Stuttgart German Masters this week.

Similar to last weekend in Maastricht, it was a mistake from Koos de Ronde that helped secure the win. De Ronde was in the lead but a slip from his leader in the water in the final drive-off meant he lost his line through the exit cones. A costly ring of the bell and rebuild of obstacle seven meant he slipped into third and having been second out in the drive-off, Boyd climbed to first.

“Stuttgart has an amazing, electric atmosphere with an educated Driving public, Exell said after his win. “It’s where World Cup Driving started so it means a lot to be here.”


HAPPY 60th birthday to the Riddells Creek Pony Club. The milestone is being celebrated with an awards night this Friday at the Riddells Creek pub. Tickets can be purchased via event secretary.


THE Tenterfield Saddlery made famous in a song by Australian singer-songwriter Peter Allen has changed hands for the first time in more than three decades.

And at least it will remain as a saddlery.

Allen wrote the song as a tribute to his grandfather George Woolnough, who purchased the saddlery on High Street in 1908 and ran it until his retirement in 1960.

Theatre and television star Todd McKenney led the calls for it to be preserved.

The building, built about 1860, and its lucrative trademark have been bought by equestrian equipment supplies business WeatherBeeta for an undisclosed sum, bringing to an end months of speculation since they were listed for sale in April.

Before the purchase by WeatherBeeta, the building was owned by the Meldon family since 1995. After the death of patriarch Brian in 2021, the family decided it was time to move on.


AFTER fears that the Top Teams showing event might be cancelled due to low entries it’s pleasing to hear it will be held as planned on Sunday, December 3.

Entries have doubled in the lead up to the closing date and everyone is looking forward to a great show.


ELITE Danish dressage rider and trainer, Andreas Helgstrand has been barred by the Danish Equestrian Federation from Denmark's national team and team activities “for the time being”.

The ban follows reports of welfare issues at the training facility “Helgstrand Dressage”, owned by Helgstrand, broadcast during the Danish TV 2 program “Operation X”.


BREANNA McKay from St George in Queensland is the Australian Stock Horse Society’s Young Ambassador Classic Ladies Foundation Quest representative for 2024.

The program supports and empowers young women who participate in the sport of campdrafting and who have a passion for the sport and an interest in getting involved in the Foundation’s fundraising activities.

Breanna is studying a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of New England in Armidale to further her career in livestock reproduction and genetics. Breanna enjoys campdrafting and competes in ASH challenges and shows on weekends.

For more information on the quest is available here.


A FUNDRAISING appeal has been started to support showjumpers Rick Dabner and Eve Jarvis, who lost their property in bushfires in Western Australia on November 22.

Thankfully, all souls – both two and four-legged - were able to be moved off the property moments before the fire arrived, but most of their feed, gear, infrastructure and a house full of possessions weren’t so lucky.

With their property being the home of Team Equistar, and an enormous portion of their income, the financial loss of this base for their business is unfathomable.

The Go Fund Me campaign organiser Cristy Shore said Rick and Eve were renowned for being the first to assist anyone in need, “so please help if you can to give them a chance to make this next period a little easier”.

The appeal has raised just over half of a $100,000 goal to date. Donations can be made here.


THE stud groom of the late Queen Elizabeth Terry Pendry has been named as the recipient of the 2023 Horse and Hound Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr Pendry LVO, BEM touched hearts across the world last year when he and Her Majesty’s mare Emma stood by the “long walk” to say their last goodbyes.

Mr Pendry had served The Queen for almost half a century, 20 years in the Household Cavalry, then another 28 directly. He was made a military knight in honour of his service this year, another accolade in his distinguished career.


THIS is the final edition of The Regional's horse news section for the year. Thank you for your continued support. We will be back in January so please have a safe and happy Christmas/New Year and we will see you soon.

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