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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Showjumping gone, new statue and top comp for Dertell


ABOVE: Working show hunter classes will be a feature of Wangartta Show. Picture: JULIE WILSON

DESPITE all efforts, this year’s 156th Wangaratta Show won’t have showjumping on the program.

“It’s the first time many of us can remember it not going ahead,” horse section organiser Megan Howe said. “It’s a struggle I’m sure many shows are facing. Not only could we not find anyone to provide the equipment with events running locally on the same weekend at Wodonga, Oxley and Shepparton, but also limited volunteers to help run the jumping section. The few hands that went up to help out, also wanted to compete, so even if we did manage to get the equipment we were going to struggle to make it work.”

While the show committee is disappointed not to have showjumping, the show committee has been fortunate to secure working hunter fences from the local Welsh group and a new working hunter section has been added to the program. A prize pool valued more than $1500 will be offered.

The show horse section will be run on one day instead of over two this year, with all classes on Friday October 13. “Again like many shows, the number of entries over the past number of years continued to dwindle and didn’t make it viable for the number of classes and the manpower to run two days of showing,” Megan said.

Other changes this year include all entries to be lodged online before the show (again to free up a volunteer on the day). There will be two open rings and a breed ring. Entries via eventsecretary.com.au


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IF you are making a trek up to the beautiful Mansfield area, a life-size bronze mare and foal sculpture donated by Dr Will and Margie Twycross will be permanently in place by tomorrow in High St. A community consultation was held to determine the exact location for the artwork, which is on the High St median strip opposite Eisner's Lane.

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JESSICA Dertell, 19, had an event to remember at the Brisbane CDI and Queensland Dressage Championships.

She won the CDI Big Tour Championship on Cennin and the Freestyle with a score of 75.975% and also the CDI-U25 Grand Prix Freestyle with Syriana, with 74.025% and the CDI-Y Freestyle, first and second with Gladstone MH (74.158%) and Eskara de Jeu (71.383%). Jessica and Syriana are entered in a totally different arena at the Royal Melbourne Show Garryowen event next week.


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GEELONG Royal Show starts shortly after Royal Melbourne finishes, and if ever a committee deserves success theirs does. Watching from the sidelines, they have made every possible opportunity to provide competition and assist competitors. They deserve a successful and sunny show.


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IN early September, dozens of women travelled from all around the country to the Queensland town of Normanton to compete in Australia's first female-only rodeo.

In Australia, women have been allowed to enter select rodeo events as far back as 1959 where the famous photo of the placegetters in the Ladies' Buckjumping Championship of Australia was taken at Lang Lang Victoria in 1959 with Enid Bennett, Audrey Croasdale, Norma Jory, Pat Keneally (winner), Ethel Shipp and Kitty Gill.

Today they are usually up against men, when it comes to competitions like bronc and bull riding.

As a father of four daughters and uncle to five nieces, Normanton Rodeo committee member Ashley Gallagher said he wanted to see equal opportunities for women in the sport.


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HER late Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s last and much-loved Fell pony Carltonlima Emma took up a celebrity role at Guards Polo Club recently.

The 27-year-old mare broke hearts as she was seen standing by the Long Walk at Windsor Castle last year as her mistress’ funeral cortege made its final journey.

Emma is currently participating in the Fell Pony Society’s Queen Elizabeth ll Memorial Challenge, which will celebrate the life of the late Queen. Entrants are invited to complete 96 miles, one for each year of the late Queen’s life, with their Fell ponies.

Guards also welcomed another special guest – Juno, the Household Cavalry’s first female drum horse. The Household Cavalry team beat the Porto Ronco Dogs 6-3 in the Wooden Spoon.

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THE champions Australian racehorse Nature Strip has a new career.

After winning a total of 22 races from 44 starts and $21.2 million, the big chestnut has retired and is now in the hands of talented jockey Kathy O’Hara. Kathy, who is one of only a small number of women to ride in the Melbourne Cup, also competes in showjumping and eventing, and it’s anticipated that is where the horse’s future lies. His owner Rod Lyons said that Nature Strip would spend his retirement at the property of

Kathy is married to Chris Waller's assistant trainer Charlie Duckworth.

"He will have a great home and a great life, he will be a very happy horse," Lyons said.


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VICTORIA will host to the Marcus Oldham 2023 Interschool Championships at Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre from September 29 to October 3.

Young riders come from all corners of Australia and are promised five days of fun, friendship, shopping, hospitality and education with an equestrian village that gives young riders the feel and atmosphere of an “international” equestrian extravaganza.


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SPORTING clubs grants are now open thanks to Sport and Recreation Victoria and are closing on October 12. Check it out here to see what is available.


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TWO notable horse properties are on the market. One is the former home of racing legends including Makybe Diva and Mummify, the St Andrews Beach Brewery on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula.

Led by developer Andrew Purchase and with shareholders including Australian cricketer David Warner and Sydney jockey Tommy Berry, the sprawling 92-acre site, which includes a venue, brewery and large-scale orchard, is likely to attract a wide range of potential buyers. The other is a state-of-the-art equestrian estate named Ashford Park at Beaconsfield. The 18.57ha site at 225 Split Rock Rd includes an architect-designed contemporary four-bedroom house and an Olympic-sized indoor riding arena.

Take a peek:


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THE FEI has released its September rankings update and it shows just how many of our para riders are making a real try for Olympic games team positions. Australia has 13 top-50 ranked athletes over the five para grades.

In open competition, Shane Rose is our highest placed eventer number 12 with Sophia Hill ranked 42 and Olivia Barton at 49.

As expected, Simone Pearce is our highest-ranked dressage rider at CDI3* level and above, at 50.



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