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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Pony club for oldies, endurance doping and SA turmoil

ABOVE: Bits of Knowledge by equine artist Shannon Lawlor. Prints available at starting at $US445.

THE Pony Club Association has announced that the 2023 PCA Nationals will have masters classes for members over 25 years. They can compete at their state hub or at the event in WA in dressage (preliminary, novice or elementary) and showjumping (85cm). Those interested should watch out for an email with further details.


EQUESTRIAN South Australia's Board has stood down after a long period of turmoil.

In a letter to members, irreconcilable differences between the board of the state body and Equestrian Australia have been cited as the cause.

Nominations for a new board are now being called for and the process will be managed by ESA's executive officer.


ONE of the equestrian world’s true gentlemen died last week. Richard Creed, husband of elite dressage rider and judge, Virginia, was one of those supportive husbands that every top-level equestrian needs. Helpful and well known to all levels of competitors, he will be sadly missed.


VICKI Roycroft has escaped from hospital. The three-time Olympian, who lives in Mount White on the NSW Central Coast, was preparing to take part in a show jumping competition when she collapsed from a ruptured aorta.

The 70-year-old was taken to Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in a critical condition where she spent three weeks recovering from surgery.

She said she is glad to be back home and has been instructed not to ride a horse for three months while she recovers. People that know the Olympian say they would not make a book on that being obeyed.


THE champion campdrafting horses at the National Stock Horse Championships at Tamworth were Rob Leach and Hazelwood Congressman (open), John Lee and Jats Bar Adios Acres (stallion), Zac Croker and Kirkbys Stud Counterfeit (novice) and Laura Macintosh and Amac Conway (ladies).


THE FEI Tribunal has issued two “consent awards” in an equine anti-doping case involving a banned substance.

In this case, the horse Intruso del Reparo (FEI ID 106GW63/BRN), tested positive for the banned substance Boldenone following samples taken at the CEI1* 100 - Sakhir, Bahrain International Endurance Village (BRN), 8-10 December 2022.

The athlete, Albrahim Alyahya (FEI ID 10204085/KSA) and the trainer Khalifa Saad Sharida Mubarak (FEI ID 10043686/BRN) both admitted the rule violation and accepted the proposed consequences. In its final decisions the FEI tribunal disqualified the athlete and horse combination from the event and imposed an 18-month ineligibility period on the athlete and the trainer; the provisional suspension each already served shall be credited against their imposed ineligibility period. They were each also fined just over $8000.


THE death of 23-year-old showjumper Sienna Weir has been confirmed by Equestrian Australia, Equestrian NSW and the Sydney Jumping Association. Expressing their sadness, they said Sienna passed away on the evening of Thursday May 4, following injuries sustained in a serious incident last month at a Sydney Jumping Association event.

“Sincere condolences to Sienna’s family. Our thoughts are with them at this time. We also extend our condolences to her friends and the equestrian community, including those who witnessed the event. We wish to respect their privacy at this difficult time,” the statement said.

Support is available to those affected by the incident, contact Converge International on 1300 687 327.


AUSTRALIAN Olympian Simone Pearce has left her employer of one year Gestut Bonhomme in Germany and relocated to Bavaria. She has taken up a new rider's position at Sophia Ritzinger's yard.

From 2015 till 2018 Simone rode sales horses for Helgstrand Dressage in Denmark. At the end of 2018 she left Helgstrand to ride in north Germany, but ended up being recruited as a full-time rider for Gestüt Sprehe. She rode Gestut Sprehe's stallion Destano at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics before moving to Gestut Bonhomme and riding Fiderdance at The World Championships last year.


THE world’s top studbooks will gather at the International Arena in Valkenswaard, Netherlands, for the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses Global Champions Trophy from September 28 to October 1.

The prestigious event for team and individual entrants brings together the best five, six, seven and eight-year-old horses in the sport.

Bernhard Thobel from Oldenburg Horse Centre said it was a great idea to offer such an opportunity to the breeders and the studbooks in such an international place. “We will enter all the categories from the five- year-olds to the young stallions,” he said. “We look forward to receiving the FEI schedule as quickly as possible so as to define our selection strategy. Indeed, we will try to offer this opportunity to foreign owners of young horses who have trusted our breeders and our studbook."


BRITISH rider Ros Canter won the Badminton Horse Trials riding Lordships Graffalo by 15 points, the biggest margin ever in the history of the event.

Former world number one Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class was second and Ireland's Austin O'Connor took third aboard Colorado Blue.

The only Australian competitor, Bill Levett riding Hubertus AC, retired on course. There were many Australian visitors at the event, including the Roycroft brothers and their partners, but also the Chalmers family from the Mandurang South Pony Club in Victoria.

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