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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Trans Tasman win, pony ride ban and Brumby calendars

ABOVE: Making friends at the Trans Tasman Challenge.

THE Australian Young Rider team won the Trans-Tasman Young Rider Challenge borrowed horse competition held at the Waratah Showjumping World Cup Show.

The four young Australians were Alexandra Gostelow, Anneliese Wansey, Ashley Cutler and Hayden Parker, while Johanna Wylaars, Samantha Gillies, Georgia Bouzaid and Liam Rutland rode for New Zealand over the three days of competiion.

The Australian team carried a 13 point to eight points lead over New Zealand going into the final event

After round one of the final, the Aussies carried just one fault, with the New Zealanders had a total of 12 faults having to be counted.

In the second round, Australia managed two clears with Anneleise Wansey jumping her second clear but faults by the other two riders added 11 to their first-round score, with a final a total of 12 for the event.

The New Zealanders jumped two clears and a six faults round adding six to their first round 12 for a total of 18 faults.

With Australia taking an 18 to 12 win, they were allocated five competition points to New Zealand’s three. With no bonus points applicable, the final scores in the competition were Australia 18 to New Zealand 11.


GEELONG Royal Show has taken a new approach in asking exhibitors to tell the committee which breed classes they would like.

Breed classes have always been a feature of royal shows but have fallen away in recent years.

They have already received suggestions and sponsorships for some sections. Contact to have a say.


LEARMONTH Pony Club is having a come-and-try-pony club day this weekend.

It’s aimed at beginner riders keen to see what pony club is all about. It will be held as part of the club’s rally (Sunday, August 27) at the Ballarat Equestrian Centre (indoors) for kids aged 10 and under. Places are limited to contact the club on 0408 145 518 or to see if any spots are still available.


PARIS will ban pony rides for children in its public parks from 2025 after a successful campaign by animal rights activists who argued the ponies were not well treated.

Pony rides have been a popular feature in Paris parks such as Champ de Mars, Parc Monceau and Parc du Luxembourg for decades, mostly at the weekend and during school holidays.

Animal rights groups have campaigned for years to ban the rides.


A UK woman who raised nearly $70,000 supposedly for victims of the Australian bushfires but gave only $5 to four charities then spent the rest on herself has been jailed. Kerry Palin, 27, of Pemberton St Rushden, will serve one year and four months. She spent the money on clothes and beauty treatments.


SCHOLARSHIPS are up for grabs for talented eight to 17-year-olds living with a disability, chronic illness or financial hardship with a demonstrated talent for equestrian.

Variety Heart Scholarships are aimed at helping riders reach the next stage of development. While there is no cap on how many scholarships are given in equestrian, one lucky applicant will be chosen for the esteemed Jack Eadon Equestrian Variety Heart Scholarship. More information is available here.


ABOVE: Heath Ryan and the China Pony Club members.

HEATH Ryan is not only talented but one of Australia’s good guys. His report on the China Pony Club’s visit makes special reading.

“On August 11 the China Pony Club came to Ryans for a visit. They have been riding and sightseeing while staying at the Yara Balba Equestrian Centre at Mandalong run by Margrete Erling. We did a dressage display with Mary Nitschke and her wonderful young Grand Prix horse, Astronomical. We also did a jumping display with Tiani Stewart riding her spectacular young Wimborne Constable mare, Clair de Lune TSE.

This photo is taken in the Ryans indoor school. This is where I spend most of my life. For me, the air in this school is special and loaded with the future. Every day riders mainly from Australia, school and study with everything they have in this very not glamourous 20 x 60 indoor school. It is all about trying to be so good that we can partner horses and not interfere with their potentials. It is so difficult to be able to pilot a horse in a way so as not to inflict your own shortcomings on the horse's future. I am so lucky to be surrounded every day by so many young people with such wonderful dreams. I look at this photo of the China Pony Club and I wonder what great things these kids will achieve in their lifetime. It is such a great honour to share my indoor school with them even if it is only for a millisecond of their life.”


BOB and Marge Thomas are Canadian carriage drivers and Morgan horse breeders who will be in Australia in November and are on the lookout for competitions and events. Information can be emailed to then at


THE Australian interschools committee is looking for pool horses for its WA and NT competitors for the National Interschool State Championships to be held at Werribee from September 30 to October 3.

Pool horse owners are required to provide all saddlery/rugs and equipment for their horse as well as all feed for the duration of their stay but are paid $600 for the use of their horse for the competition.

Pool horses may be able to day stay at the event with prior approval but must be identified on arrival with a veterinary inspection before the competition.

If you think you may have a suitable horse and are interested in loaning it, please contact Jamie Harding at


FELICITY Clay's beautiful 2024 Barmah Brumbies calendars are now available for purchase for $29 each including postage within Australia.

Once again Felicity will make a donation from every calendar to help Australian Brumbies in need. There are a limited number available so please send her a message via her Facebook page and she will send payment details to you.

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

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