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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Briefs: New welfare plan, teams selected and vale two showjumpers

RACING Victoria has released its 2023-27 Equine Welfare Strategic Plan, which will set the agenda for the Victorian Thoroughbred racing industry’s equine welfare focus for the next five years.

The new plan builds on the 2019 version, incorporating feedback from Racing Victoria’s Equine Welfare Advisory Council, racing participants, owners, re-trainers, animal welfare groups and horse sports associations.


EQUESTRIAN Australia has announced the selected combinations for the 2023 Oceania Championships to be held in Hastings New Zealand from March to 12.

Australia will field one senior team and one young rider team.

The senior team is Andrew Cooper and Pepper Jack, Cathryn Herbert and Wimborne, Constable Shenae Lowings and Bold Venture and Kenya Wilson and Sandros Salute MW.

The senior team’s Chef d'Equipe is Will Enzinger and the non-travelling senior team reserve combination is (unranked) Sam Lyle and BF Valour.

The young rider team is Molly Lines and Tadpole Riley, Lyall and GI War Machine, Tess Morrow and Nawarrah Park Dark Star and Ella Smith and Jaybee Altimate. The Chef d'Equipe is Andrew Barnett.


THE showjumping world has lost two great horses, one in the US and one in Australia. Both were in happy retirement at their owners’ properties. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s Shutterfly, also known as “Petey” was 30. He had won three World Cup finals, 10 Top Ten finals and the Grand Prix of Aachen, amongst many other prestigious titles.

In Australia, the imported grey mare CP Romantic Dream, or “Pinky”, was 26 years old. She won the Australian Showjumping Championship, as well as multiple Grand Prix and World Cups. She leaves her legacy in six daughters for Melissa Froesch’s Glenara Park.


FIVE people were injured and four Standardbred horses were killed in an accident at Rowella in Tasmania. They were returning from a race meeting when the Ford Ranger left the road and hit a tree. The occupants, ranging from 14 to 20 years of age, were all taken to the Launceston Hospital.


THE major equestrian centres around Australia are all telling visitors that the use of electric scooters are banned. Werribee Park in Victoria and the Sydney International Equestrian Centre in NSW have stated that as electric scooters are illegal on public property and the centres are not private properties, e-scooters are not permitted to be used on the grounds.


CASEY Bruce has decided the champion racehorse-turned-show horse Chautauqua (Sharky to his family) can add another new career to his bow. “I’ve decided that Sharky no longer needs to be that preened show horse anymore,” he said. “He has tried hard having won many events in hand and under saddle, but also been just as challenging on those special Sharky days.

“For the pair of us now we are going to have fun together, contest some off-the-track dressage where it’s just him and I in the arena … no horses to compete against whilst in there, as this fiercely competitive champion of the turf does find it hard to switch off at these highly contested shows. I’d love to join an adult riding club and have some fun.”


MARK Buttsworth aboard Branchvale Metal Alloy has taken out a nail-biting final challenge final at the Classic Campdraft at Tamworth.

Branchvale Metal Alloy was bought by Rodger Grant from Koobah Performance Horses in 2020 from Merle Potter, Emdee Enterprises from Gin Gin, as a five-year-old stallion for $126,000.

“Great event, I’d like to thank Rodger for believing in me and buying this horse, he is very special,” Mark said after the win.

First place and $8000 first place prizemoney as well as a new Navaho Trailer made the owner smile. “Buttsy talked me into this horse a few years ago and he won at Cloncurry, a lot of Futurites as well and he has a big future.”

Kathryn Hengstberger and Two Beneficial won the Young Guns Challenge final.

Kathryn purchased the mare by Beniah out of Missy Two in 2020 for $19,000 from Brydie Hughes.


AN article in Horse and Hound in May 1957 says there was “considerable controversy” as to whether women should be allowed to ride in Olympic Games Horse Trials.

Miss Tessa Roberts suggested that “generally speaking” women were not psychologically built to understand of feel with the horse during this phase of acute physical strain.

She also felt that before being allowed to enter these “killer” courses a woman should be made to complete a week’s course in pre-athletics training.

“Cross country to feel the pressure in her lungs, the numb legs, the nausea, and the pounding heart and hurdling – to feel the excruciating pain ring through her as a sore ankle smashes the bar.”

British Pioneer Sheila Wilcox proved her wrong. In 1956 she caught the British team selectors’ eye with the partnership she had established with her horse, High and Mighty.

However, because women were not allowed in the Olympic Games, High and Mighty was sold to become available for the Stockholm Games.

Unsoundness denied him a place on the team however, and Sheila brought him back.

Her record of three consecutive wins at Badminton Horse Trials is unsurpassed following her debut there in 1956 with High and Mighty, when they finished runner up. They went on to take this prestigious four-star title in 1957 and 1958.

In 2023 there are as many women as men riding in horse trials at all levels.

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