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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Classes full to the brim as newbie eventers have a go

ABOVE: Edith Kane and Klassik Grey Top took out division four of the 80cm class. Picture: DEREK O’LEARY

WHAT can you say about an event that has 571 starters, of which 210 are mostly newcomers to the sport?

The Friends of Werribee Park Horse Trials was in that happy position last weekend and it shows just how many people are keen to try this discipline at a low level.

The lowest division, over well-built courses with an 80cm maximum fence limit, had seven full divisions, and no doubt, the winners of those sections were as thrilled with their win as any Olympic gold medalist.

Chairwoman of eventing at Equestrian Victoria Janet Houghton said the event attracted a very supportive community and people enjoyed that.

“People come and camp with their friends, and they cheer each other on, and feel like they have really achieved,” she said.

“For them a clear round is very special.”

The results showed the Thoroughbred horses’ for horse trials.

ABOVE: Winner of the three-star class Molly Lines and Tadpole. Picture: DEREK O’LEARY

At the pointy end, the four-star class had 11 starters, with Sophia Hill’s Thoroughbred, Humble Glory, rising from eighth after dressage to win the section by three points after two quality jumping rounds. David Middleton on WEC In The Money came in second and Kirilee Hosier’s AEA Flynn third.

The Thoroughbreds struck again in the three-star class where Molly Lines’ Tadpole continuing to build on his good last season form to win from Courtney Fraser’s Rockin it and Jessica Cock’s Punching in a Dream. In the two-star, Teegan Ashby’s Magic Mushroom TAE led from start to finish.

The winners of the first two divisions in the one-star class were good young Warmbloods. In division one, Edward Darby’s grey Somerset Day is by David Quick’s Warmblood stallion Somerset D’Isle who is making a name as a sire of good looking and talented jumping horses.

In division two, the win went to Remi Fidelio, by Fisherman’s Friend, ridden by Leah Simmons.

The third division winner, Ella Oszczypok’s Kirby Park Impress, struck a blow for the Australian Stock Horse.

In two weeks it’s all on again at the same venue when the Victorian championships will be held, with two more events added: a “People On Ponies” section for the under 15hh equines and a special off-the-track class for beginner Thoroughbreds.

The addition of these classes are a further example of how the sport is becoming more accessible to all levels of riders and horse types.

ABOVE: Sophia Hill and Humble Glory on their way to a win in the four-star class. Picture: DEREK O’LEARY

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