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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Estate a stunning setting for carriage driving championships

ABOVE: Rachel Halsau driving Simeon Saute. Picture: DIANE BOARDMAN

THERE’S nothing more pleasing to watch than an elegant pair being driven in beautiful surroundings.

The NSW Driven Dressage Championships at Mullengandra near Holbrook, hosted by the Border Carriage Club on Ross and Miriam Carbery’s magnificent property Carbery Estate, provided just that.

Carriage driving is growing steadily and with the success of Australian drivers overseas, the thought of “if they can do it” lies quietly in many minds.

Carbery Estate horses – Carbery Estate Chino and Carbery Estate Cato – are competing in Europe with Tor Van Den Berge and the stud continues to breed some of Australia’s finest carriage horses.

ABOVE: Ross Carbery driving CE Valantino and CE Mascarto. Picture: DIANE BOARDMAN

At the NSW titles, Richdale Paladin, aka Wally, was champion in the preliminary section in a big class of 14. HIs owner, Jenny Begg, was thrilled.

“I think I can safely say I am over the moon,” she said. “This has to be the highlight of our partnership so far and I am so proud of my pony that nobody wanted.”

You would have to go a long way to find a better matched pair of ponies than the preliminary multiple class winners, Robyn Schmetzer’s Yarrandale Storm and Caerleon Rikki, both dainty chestnuts with perfectly matching broad blazes.

The novice single class was won by Gwenifer Hack’s On Track Park Jemima and the elementary single went to Kirsten Fedderson’s Shepherds Hill Yowie.

It’s difficult enough to drive just one horse in a dressage test so handling four is special. The winning elementary multiple driver, Yvonne Fresch, handled her lovely team of four Welsh ponies – Alcheringa Gumnut, Ripplebrook Grenadier, Nilton Mahina and Llanfairgren Owain – beautifully to score well.

Intermediate single winner, Rachel Haslau’s Palomino pony Haddon Park Locket, is pretty enough to win saddle classes at big shows.

Ross Carbery drove his home-bred pair, CE Valentino and CE Moscato, to win the intermediate multiple while the open single class went to Sarah Keevers and Drumeden Paddy and the advanced single to Gail Bain and Shepherds Hill Michael.


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