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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Dressage day supports unit that helps horses out of holes


THE dressage competition at Shirley Heights at Gladysdale in Victoria was one of many on a busy October weekend but it was special, as money raised from the event went to the Large Animal Rescue Service in Victoria.

Unless it’s happened to you, you may not realise that big animals like horses and cattle can get themselves into terrible pickles falling down holes or getting hopelessly tangled in fences or creeks.

“Nearly 10 years ago the Arthur’s Creek and Strathewen Fire Brigade developed a Large Animal Rescue Unit,” Strathewen team member and Equestrian Australia coach Sue Leslie said.

“At this stage we have attended roughly 100 rescues as, along with the Macclesfield CFA, we are the only two brigades being responsible for the whole of Victoria.

“We train two evenings per month and we try to bring our trainer Anton Phillips (a world expert) over from the UK yearly to upgrade our own training.”

Sue said the brigade is not funded by the CFA to do the rescue work and has had to fundraise privately and produce their own equipment.

“Sue and Bridgett Van Sprang very kindly offered to run a dressage day fundraiser for our brigade,” she said.

“With these funds we would like to purchase a Rescue Path, which allows us to work on water, ice and mud etc.”


(Click any image to expand)

ABOVE: The Large Animal Rescue Service has come to the aid of a number of horses recently Victoria. There was Gary, 30, and Greenhill Toro, 39, who both needed assistance to stand, and a foal that had become trapped in a hole beside a dam. All good outcomes.

At the dressage day, Barbara Chapman riding Jaybee Artizan – yet another of the Jaybee prefixed horses doing well on the weekend – won the advanced level jackpot, competing for the Peninsula Horse Riders Club.

Rebecca Wicks from the Nar Nar Goon Riding Club was the level one winner on Don Adelino.

In in a strong field of level two riders, Megan Seen’s Wombat Trading Post from Gembrook Riding Club continued his good form of recent weeks winning the level two jackpot.

High scores were the order of the day in level three where the winner, Kylie Woodstock and Inner Bloom from Macclesfield Adult Riding Club, scored 76.93 and 73.39 per cent in the two tests to win from Lauren Kanicky riding Binka Park Mushka from Doongala Adult Riding Club Inc scoring 72.50 and 77.10 per cent. Both were very progressive horses, with Inner Bloom winning the award for the highest placed Thoroughbred on the day.

Fiona Matthews on Yannadale Charleston from Pakenham Upper Riding Club won the level four jackpot from Alla Keogh from Dewhurst Equestrian Club riding Special.

It was really pleasing to see that the Standardbred, Sevenknightsaweek ridden by Fiona Williams from Keysborough Equestrian Club, was third in a very big section. He also took out the award for the highest placed Standardbred on the day.

Level five went to Megan Morris’s Clayton Alaska representing the Working Equitation Yarra Valley Inc club.

ABOVE: Susan Van Sprang and Stryder BW. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG
ABOVE: Merran Riddell and Come by chance. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG
ABOVE: Megan Seen and Wombat Trading Post. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG
ABOVE: Jennie Kadiki and Mystic Park Chanel. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG

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