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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Club recognises stalwarts and lost friends with special awards

ABOVE: Winners of the 70cm class Tania Harding and The Rookie. Picture: GRAIN & MANE

TRUE legends in equestrian sport are too often not honoured. People who work for a sport and contribute so much, once gone are too quickly forgotten.

So it’s good to see the main event at the Border District Showjumping Championships at the Albury Wodonga Equestrian Centre is named the Len and Betty McVean Memorial Grand Prix.

The pair worked tirelessly for showjumping in its glory days, and their son Jeff was an Australian representative at two Olympic Games. His daughter (Len and Betty’s granddaughter) Katie Laurie has represented Australia at the most recent Olympic Games and World Championships.

In the days when the club held a World Cup in the Indoor arena at Wodonga, this class was the most prestigious in Victoria. Members are working hard to re-establish this status on the Jumping Victoria calendar.

Winners of the event in past years include showjumping greats Ron Easy, Gavin Chester, Des Gleeson, Chris Chugg, Billy Raymont, George Sanna, Peter McMahon, Clem Smith, Paula Hamood, Tom McDermott, Andrew Lamb and Stephen Dingwall.

This year’s winner was Tori Stuckey riding Finch Farm Cab, following on from her good performances at Adelaide Royal Show. Runner up was Sue Coman riding Lizetta. Sue’s husband Jamie was the winner of this class in 2002. Twenty years later Sue almost achieved this.

ABOVE: Indiana Cornius-Randall and Foxhall Miranda won the 80cm in tough conditions. Picture: GRAIN & MANE

The winner received the prizemoney, a rug, garland and a beautifully boxed pair of engraved spurs provided by the McVean family.

Len and Betty’s daughter, Rhonda Maroney, was on hand to present the prizes for this class. Rhonda was also the ring one penciller assisting the judge, Anne Garner.

Other special awards included the John Canning Young Horse Champion sponsored by Tull Canning in memory of his father John. This was won by Angus Williams riding He’s all White.

The Ken Gibbs Memorial in honour of BDSJC member Ken Gibbs, who was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident, is awarded to the most successful combination in ring one. It was won by Sarah Dreverman riding Emmaville Van Gogh.

One of the most interesting competitors is Holly Lenahan, a vet from Ireland who has come over for the breeding season, arriving in Australia just a month ago. For the last two years she’s split her time between Australia and Ireland and has horses in both countries.

The most successful combination award in ring two was won by Charli Hill riding Isle of Jarroe Valley.

All class results can be found on the Border Districts Showjumping Club's Facebook page.


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