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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Carriage drivers cut a dash at Battle of the Borders

ABOVE: Margaret Sperrin and her winning pony pair. Picture: LINDA MACE

CARRIAGE drivers from all around Australia, plus volunteers and visitors from as far away as Canada, made the Level 2 “Battle of the Borders” CDE at Carbery Estate, Mullengandra NSW, an outstanding event.

Hosted by Border Carriage Club, the organisers left no stone unturned getting the details right at one of the world’s most beautiful carriage driving settings.

The tree-lined driveway alongside of the marathon obstacles provided plenty of shade, with 90-year-old Elm trees giving the venue a very European vibe.

The event attracted 77 entries and 62 starters from Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and NSW.

There were several different combinations entered – singles, pairs and tandems – and both pony and horse teams.

Organiser Miriam Bentley said competition began on Friday, with half of the competitors doing the first of the three-phase event, their dressage and cones.

“The second group did their dressage and cones on Saturday, while the organisers secretly over the two days had someone judging the ladies and men’s Concore De ’Elegance classes,” she said.

“This person was an outsider who knew none of our competitors.

“Their job was to scrutinise the competitor’s overall impression –their outfits, the carriage and the horses/ponies turnout were all taken into consideration when they made their decision of the winners.”

ABOVE: Murraydale Park Solar driven by Glenda Marshall. Picture: LINDA MACE

Dressage, cones and Concore De ‘Elegance awards were presented on Saturday evening before the marathon on Sunday.

Section A consisted of a 4.4km track through undulating paddocks followed by the 800m transfer back into the dressage arena to do a lap before entering the vet check area for the compulsory 10-minute break.

Section B of the marathon had six obstacles.

“The obstacles are laid out in row for the benefit of the spectators as is done in Europe,” Miriam said.

“Competitors had to do a 1km lap of a mowed track in the paddock immediately behind the obstacles, then enter number one obstacle, navigating their way through it before commencing another lap and entering obstacle number two and so on.

“At times spectators didn’t know which way to look as they had the pleasure of seeing at least four competitors in four separate obstacles at one time, making it far more exciting for them.”

The very keenly contested Prince Phillip Memorial Trophy was won by Dawn Walter.

The Top Teams Trophy was won by Naringalook Nannies (Dawn Walter, Vicki Stevenson and Jenny Demaio) and the Dominiak/Carbery Carriage Award was won by Glenda Marshal.


(Click any image to expand)

All images LINDA MACE

Download full results

BOTB 2023 Summary Final
Download PDF • 241KB

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