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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Forecast not enough to put off determined showies at VASA

Updated: Mar 7

ABOVE: There's nothing like a show hunter in full flight - rising star show hunter winner Georgina Barrey's GB Saffire. Picture: TONI McCLUSKY/EQUINE PROMOTIONS AUSTRALIA

“NEITHER rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds.”

According to Wikipedia, the original saying was spoken about 2500 years ago by the Greek historian Herodotus but it could have been applied to the hardy showies who competed on the second day of the Victorian Agricultural Shows Annual Championships at Bendigo.

Those observing would have been treated to the unusual sight of horses competing on the arena while a queue of locals filled sandbags to prevent their houses from flooding in the pouring rain.

On the first day, in sunshine, the warnings from the BOM were dire, but the classes for children, led, debutante and rising star and the increasingly popular owner produced classes were well filled.

Champions in this section included Annique Smith and Daisy Patch English Affair, Chantel Thomas and Ponderosa Stud Lovely, Megan Cheeseman and BB Bella Fonte, Casey Bruce and Xtra Smart Of Sefton, Rachel Hirs and Debanlay Fine Art and Ashley Parsons with both  Wilgo's Country Music and Lentara Lorado.

ABOVE: The reserve champion rising star show hunter galloway Uhavta Stop and Stare ridden by Alannah Burns. Picture: EQUINE PROMOTIONS AUSTRALIA

On the second day, the off-the-track (OTT) classes for Thoroughbreds and the Alabar Series for Standardbreds continues to grow with both groups determined to show that their horses do have a good life after racing.

Josh Clarke’s SLM Show Man won the OTT rising star and first season OTT awards and Briony Randle’s Sapphire Coast and Shannon Cantwell’s The Butler won the show hunter classes.

There were many people keen to see the champion racehorse So Si Bon appear in his first show so it was a pity that his win in the Fashions on The Field class, with Samantha McMaster dressed in an outfit matching his racing colours, was in heavy rain.

The OTT led open series state final winner was Clint Bilson’s Royal Reign and the OTT ridden show hunter series state final winner was Briony Randle’s Sapphire Coast.

Greg Gerry’s beautiful Royal Consort has had a very successful season and won the OTT ridden open series state final.

The Alabar Hero Series state final winner was Tyson Zoontjens’ Julius Art and the highest placed newcomer within two years of retirement went to Jordan Gil’s Our Warrior.

In the open classes, champions in the show hunter section included Ebonie Lee’s Tamrie Park Secret Image, Jess Olinder’s Belmore Park Perfect Dancer, Fiona McIntyre’s consistent Westminster and Vicki O’Connell’s Some Action.

In the show section, Kiana Addison’s MT Vogue, Lee Purchase’s Korawyn So Si Bon, Cruize Thorpe Heal’s Bayview Ivy League all were champions in their section, while the open large saddle hack section that carried the Jack Rae OAM memorial sash went to Rachael Addison’s Turnitaround.


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