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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Fresh ideas and moving with the times keeps Barastoc on top

ABOVE: Lexis Vanderput, Melanie Burns and Barindale Silhouette share a moment. Picture: DEREK O'LEARY

BARASTOC Horse of the Year Show number 54 remains as important to the show horse world as it did way back when it was just a support class for the Australian Showjumping championships at Olympic Park.

The finest horses in the state still appear and although the faces have changed, the event endures through its willingness to evolve.

The show, now held at Werribee Park, has always been aware of the need to adjust to current requirements and with the domination of professional stables in the national qualifying classes, the committee has over time added many classes to make sure every competitor has a reason to attend.

This year they introduced the supreme performer classes for horses that haven’t won a championship at a state royal or state title. It proved popular and will develop further.

Add this to the newcomers, owner-produced, show hunters, off-the-track, children’s, led and open sections and it becomes impossible to report on everything.

Here are some of the main highlights.

Greg Gerry and Darren Telford’s mares continued their winning form from the Show Horse Council event, with Coronation ridden by Ali Berwick taking out the small show hack class and Royal Opera shown by Brynie Lee winning the large galloway class.

The large show hack class has for the past couple of years carried a trophy given by Maree Tomkinson for her much-loved mentor Malcolm Ansell, himself one of the legends of the show world.

ABOVE: Christine Frost and Ink. Picture: DEREK O'LEARY

The winner of the class this year was Christine Frost’s Ink but knowing Malcolm’s immaculate taste, he’d have been happy to have any one of the top three: Ink, Elizabeth Krog’s Warrawee Impressareo and Natalie Mk Kay’s St Andrews.

It was interesting, and probably showed that the three judges liked a certain type, that in the class for large ponies the champion, Wideacre Harry Winston, was full brother to the reserve champion, Wideacre Black Diamond. The child’s large pony winner, Pemberley Whisper, was out of the same mare.

Show Hunters appeared on the program in the 1990s and there have been some beautiful true-to-type animals shown, but it’s probable that the record of Emily Murray’s small galloway hunter Riegal Manolete, the winner this week, won’t be matched. With five Barastoc championships in a row, plus national titles, the little bay is admired by local and overseas judges.

Show hunter winners were pretty true-to-type with some lovely strong horses in the top three placings in each class.

Ali Berwick’s Ultimate PPH won the large show hunter hack and Global PPS ridden by Greg Mickan for Stephanie Barrington won the small show hunter hack, possibly showing the more elegant warmblood has found a place to shine.

ABOVE: Riley Marin and Dreamtime Lomaxx. Picture: DEREK O'LEARY
ABOVE: Emily Murray on Riegal Manolete. Picture: ANGIE RICKARD

In the children’s ridden classes, the big horses showed they are perfectly happy to pilot the youngsters through complicated workouts. Riley Marin invited Sabrina Gilmour to ride his favorite, Dreamtime Lomaxx, in the show hunter classes and Dreamtime Royalty in the show hack section and scored wins with both.

Finally – who doesn’t love watching leading rein classes? The little riders really don’t care who wins providing they get their showbags. Ella Cutugno rode Bordershow Charlemagne to win the leading rein show hunter and Lexis Vanderput beamed when her Barindale Silhouette won the show pony class.

There are 100 more classes, so it’s impossible to list all of them, so follow the link below for all the winners and score sheets.



(Click any image to expand)

ABOVE: Jaqui Christensen and Murnhaven Final Symphony, Emily Murray on Riegal Manolete, Eliza Abrahams and Cherrington Skylark, Coronation ridden by Ali Berwick, Layla Pollock and Tamrie Park Primadonna, Ella O’Doherty and Remi La Vida Loca, Briony Payne and Arrabella Secret Affair, Jessica Sharp and Kingsfield Arlington, Lauren Ferraro and Merricks Fiore, Taylor and Rebecca Shute’s Cimeron Poprock, Greg Mickan and Global PPS, Wideacre Harry Winston and Wideacre Black Diamond, Sabrina Gilmour and Dreamtime Lomaxx and Greg Mickan and Global PPS.

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