Cancellations bring big field to Albury International Horse Trials
THE Albury Wodonga Equestrian Centre in Thurgoona NSW comprises a number of affiliated equestrian clubs with over 200 individual members.
Founded in 1996, the facilities are used regularly by its affiliated clubs to run events including horse trials, dressage, adult riding, pony club days, polocrosse and show jumping.
Conditions were ideal for the Albury Wodonga International Horse Trials held over the May 20-22 weekend.
The sun shone and the grounds were in peak form for the more than 300 riders who attended the popular event.
‘’We had 330 entries and could have gone higher, maybe even to 500,” event spokesperson Vanessa Hayden said.
“The events that were recently cancelled due to rain put a bit of extra pressure on us.”
The classes showed the great depth and willingness to travel to quality competitions shown by horse trials fans, with a list of well-known names filling the sections from northern NSW to Gippsland in Victoria.
Andrew Barnett had a successful event winning the three-star class on Go Tosca and placing fourth on Oscar Park Deluge and winning a division of the EA95cm section on APH New Sensation.
Emma Mason led from start to finish in the two-star class, with KPH Kingfisher’s 26.90 dressage mark followed up by two great jumping rounds. It was her first win as a mum after the birth of her baby last year. She and also placed fifth in the three-star class on Warrego Marco Polo. Young rider Tahlia Pursell, who finished third in the two-star class, is off to Melbourne Three Day event as a junior after waiting two years due to Covid. She headed the junior section at Albury in the two-star, only her second try at the level. Leah Simmons also proved uncatchable in the one-star on Remi Fidelio adding just a rail down in showjumping to stay 1.5 points ahead of the fast finishing Natalie Blundell, rising from ninth after dressage to finish second.
The lower classes were run as a one-day event. The three divisions of the 80cm section were won by Christopher Height’s Lucky Contender, Brooke Kaveney’s Kaya and the junior class went to Sarah Shady on Fourex.
There were two full sections of a lot of joyous young “newbie” horses trying their hand in the 60cm section where Tess Morrow’s Indigo Valley Down Under and Danielle Cleland’s Wimbourne Congac were the senior winners and Grace Gordon took first and third in the junior section with Mon Soleil and Absolut Crush, with Jodie Brooks’ Stirling splitting the pair.