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  • Writer's pictureDale Webster and Fran Cleland

Bits: Vet crisis in Tasmania, Badminton schedule and a blast from the past


IT has been a year this week since The Regional launched our horse news section, ensuring weekly media coverage of grass-roots equestrian sport would continue.

It was sad to see the loss of horse news from The Weekly Times but the transition to our pages has brought some positives for readers, including no paywall and expanded coverage of all states and Australian riders competing overseas.

None of this would be possible without Fran Cleland and the network of talented photographers she works with across Australia to share the stories and celebrate the achievements of the horse community – from beginners to Olympians, across every discipline.

While you don’t have to pay to read our stories, you can say thank you by purchasing images from any of our photographers if they are at your event.

So, here’s cheers to the year ahead and happy birthday to us.

We hope you continue to enjoy The Regional’s horse news – “free to read and always will be”.


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ONE of Tasmania's only dedicated equine veterinary hospitals may be forced to close after an unsuccessful two-year search for a new vet, leading to concerns that horses may be unable to be treated in emergencies.

The clinic is located next to the Longford Racecourse and has cared for some of the biggest horse names in Tasmanian racing, including The Cleaner, Mystic Journey and Geegees Blackflash.

The Longford Equine Clinic in the state's north has provided care for horses for almost 40 years and until recently was the only equine surgery in the state.

Veterinary surgeon Chris Cornes said no-one had expressed interest in the position after more than two years of searching.


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BOYD Exell and Tor Van Den Berge finished within a couple of points of each other at the carriage driving championships at Lahden, Germany.

Both were driving young teams with Boyd ninth and Tor tenth. The leaders of Tor’s team Carbery Estate Chino and Carbery Estate Cato are Australian-bred by Ross Carbery and Miriam Bentley, exported to the Netherlands to be on Tor’s team. The event was won by won by Ijsbrand Chardon.


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THE 2023 Badminton Horse Trials will start a day later than planned to avoid the cross-country clashing with The King and The Queen Consort’s coronation.

The ceremony is to take place on Saturday (May 6). This would have been cross-country day of the CCI5*, which was due to run from May 3-7.

The dressage phase will now take place on Friday and Saturday (May 5 and 6), cross-country on Sunday (May 7) and the showjumping finale on Monday (May 8).

“Dressage will start earlier on Saturday so that everyone – competitors, spectators and officials – can be part of this historic day,” a spokeswoman said. “The coronation service will be shown on the big screens.”


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A trot down memory lane

ABOVE: This photo shows a time when showjumping was promoted in a car Park at Chadstone Shopping centre, one of the first showjumping competitions to be televised in Australia. Look at the famous faces in the photo. Art Uytendaal, one of the greatest riders of all time, Eric Musgrove and Leonard Tennant, who because racing trainers, tiny Joan Marino, now a star at poker events, Les Bunning champion rider and coach, Vicki Roycroft another champion rider and coach, and Helen Ryan, brilliant rider who married Philip Hanna, horse transport owner.

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PONY breeder Karen Parrish and her daughter Jahnae have a solid faith in breeding native ponies and this has led to Mountain and Moorland Australia Ltd being formed by Karen and some equally dedicated people promoting M&M's in our country.

The group will be holding their very first event – the Victorian Winter Fair Mountain and Moorland Foal and Youngstock Show – in conjunction with the Victorian Winter Fair Foal and Youngstock Show run by the North East Border Regional Promotional Group and the Riding Pony Stud Book Society Victorian committee at Tatura Park on Sunday, May 28.

As well as classes for all M&M breeds and their part-breds (Riding Ponies eligible) they will have the “world breed winter challenge” open to all purebred foals and youngstock, with some fabulous awards.


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THE Australian Stock Horse Society launched the Youth Pathways Program late last year and was pleased to receive a number of expressions of interest from some inspiring young members.

The Board had the difficult decision to select five to be this year's ambassadors but eventually chose Madison Collins, Megan Wren, Danika Smith, Caitlin Croft and Brianna Arnold.


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AMBER Fuller riding CP Aretino won the CSI1*-W World Cup round at Larapinta in Queensland. It was the third round of the qualifying Series for 2023/2024 and there have been three individual winners so far.

Sarah McMillan and Tyrone VDL won the opening round in Shepparton, while Tom McDermott riding Cooley Gangster won the second at Jumping With The Stars at Werribee.



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