top of page
  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Clubs head north to celebrate 70 years of championships

ABOVE: Yianni Fouskarinis and Signa were part of the Yarrambat Pony Club team that won the John Barlee Perpetual Shield. Picture: JODI BUSSELL/GRAIN & MANE

THIS year’s Pony Club Victoria state championships was very much a big sky event, with competitors and their crews heading north to Finley NSW to enjoy the wide-open spaces of the Southern Riverina.

Hosted by the Northern Zone, those attending even had the pleasure of seeing the rare Aurora Australis, or "southern lights", in the night sky that weekend.

It was a fitting tribute to the event, which celebrated its 70th anniversary this year.

First run in 1955 on the Mornington Peninsula, the championships have been held every year since, run by a different zone each time.

It has grown from an event that was only for the top-grade riders to one where all grades join in to enjoy not only the competition but each other’s company.

The Northern Zone committee worked hard this year to make the Finley event a success, with good solid fences and the inclusion of a new water complex built with the help of the Plattfuss family.

Competitors aged eight to 25 were put through their paces in dressage, show jumping and cross country under the watchful eye of some very experienced judges including well-known dressage instructor Bruce Ross.

The local farmers wouldn’t have complained about the good rain after a dry few months but it did keep the organisers very busy altering and amending schedules.

Even so, everything ran well and to time.

ABOVE: Wet as a shag but still smiling – Lauren Stone from Wangaratta Pony Club. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: Louise Barnes and Red Bluff Pippa from the North Eastern zone also soldiered on. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: No worries here, just a bit of rain. Picture: GRAIN & MANE

The John Barlee Perpetual Shield for teams went to Yarrambat Pony Club made up of Jett Lord riding Memphis (grade two), Alice Davies on The Flying Orange (grade 2), Yianni Fouskarinis and Signa (grade two) and Eleanor Shephard and Fiedlerite (grade three) on a score of 107.7.

In second place with 119.5 points was Seville Pony Club’s team of three riders – Isobel Morse riding Broadway Diamond Diva (grade two), Emily Hudak and Mr Hugo (grade one) and Indie van Prooyen on Machine Gun Kelly (grade three).

Kergunyah Pony Club’s Mya Player on Whitelea King of Hearts (grade three), Evie Kamevaar on MP Chevrolet (grade one), Freya Sullivan and Monty (grade three) and Violet MacCalman and Kapeta Trickster (grade three) on 126.5 points were third.

ABOVE: Violet MacCalman and Kapeta Trickster from Kergunyah Pony Club. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: Ashley Cowburn and Vermilion from Glenlyon and District Pony Club. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: Olivia Logan from Macedon Pony Club riding Budwiser. Picture: GRAIN & MANE

In grade four, the North Eastern Zone Daredevils’ Lillianna MeyerVale (Schooner), Tara Craddock (Mollie), John Nolan (After the Bounce) and Liza Askew (LRA Park Lilly) won in a tight finish on 82.1 points from North Metropolitan One team of Shenae Spratling (Lynsway Serenade), Lainey Newlands (Oakus Pocus), Tess O’Sullivan (Datchet House) and Annabelle Walsh (Princess Jasmine) on 83.1.

In third place on 86.4 points was the number two composite team made up of Georgie Acocks (Kenda Park Paladian), Lily Collins (Wyann Tasman), Louise Barnes (Red Bluff Pippa) and Samantha Pretty (Nemeris Royal).

ABOVE: Georgie Acocks from the Northern Zone on Kenda Park Paladian. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: John Nolan from the North Eastern Zone Daredevils. Picture: GRAIN & MANE

In grade five there was a clear winner with East/West Gippsland’s Ivy Williams (Creswell Montana), Ivy Williams (Wynara Wasabi), Shelby Helps (Lynnlea Ragtime) and Mitchell O’Brien (Delta) 20 points ahead of the North Eastern Zone Zoomers’ Ruby Brough (Odie), Katie Gillis (Perfect Poison), Summer Godden (Dalgangle Jiminy Cricket) and Imogen Strachan (Dusty).

The North Metro number two team of Heidi Dredge (Seb), Georgia Mckinnon (Valley View Shogun) and Cleo Waite (Randall) was third.

ABOVE: Heidi Dredge and Seb representing North Metropolitan Zone. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: Isabella Kunde and the legendary Fizzy Pop from Midland Zone. Picture: GRAIN & MANE
ABOVE: Skye Starritt and Blonde Atomique from the Northern Zone. Picture: GRAIN & MANE

Individual winners were:

Grade one:  Evie Kamevaar on MP Chevrolet from Kergunyah Pony Club

Grade two: Iris Sudholz  on River from Horsham Pony Club

Grade three A: Tahlei Spratling on Extra from Yarrambat Pony Club

Grade three B: Olivia Cleave on Sherbet Lemon from Shepparton Pony Club

Grade four A: Michelle Woodcroft on Strutin to a Tribute  from Central Zone

Grade four B: Lillianna MeyerVale on Schooner from North Eastern Zone

Grade five: Heidi Dredge on Seb from North Metropolitan Zone


(Click any image to expand)

All images Grain & Mane

Stories on The Regional’s website are free to read and always will be.

If you enjoyed this article you can show your support by joining our mailing list (either by filling out the form below or sending us a message).

We'd also get very excited if you put a "like" on our Facebook page.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page