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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Going to the Melbourne 3DE? Here's what you need to know

ABOVE: Young rider Sam Jeffree and Woodmount Lolita will tackle the Trans Tasman course at the Melbourne International Three-Day Event. Picture: DEREK O'LEARY

HELD during the Queen's birthday long weekend every June, the finest eventing horses and riders in the country arrive at the picturesque Werribee Park next week to compete at Victoria's premier eventing competition.

There’s action from Thursday, June 9, to Monday, June 13.

The 2022 Oceania Championships will take place alongside the main event.

Twelve Australian combinations will compete against the Kiwis in a showdown that provides athletes with the opportunity to gain championship-level experience as part of a representative team in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Oceania Championships, like the sport of eventing itself, is deeply embedded in the history of equestrian sport in Australia and it remains a pinnacle event for both senior and young riders.

Entry is free on the first day of competition. The Young Event Horse Challenge provides owners and breeders the opportunity to showcase the potential of their four, five and six year-old horses. The aim of these classes is to encourage trainers and breeders to produce and present the correct type of young horse which is considered to be the best material to develop into a three-day event horse.

The judges will be looking for potential for the future: an athletic, loose moving horse with a promising jumping technique and attitude, which with correct training will develop physically and mentally into a top-level three-day eventer.

Young horses will be judged on dressage, conformation, jumping and cross country pace.

On Friday, enjoy dressage – when entry is again free. It’s also a great time to shop before the trade stands get too crowded. The off-the-track re-trainers showcase will be well worth watching.

The showcase will introduce six off-the-track horses, individually working in the arena while their journey from breeder to trainer to racing to current day is told. The training process their riders have gone through with their horses will also be discussed. The horses will be eventing types.

Saturday the big guns do their dressage, the trade section is in full swing and Bettina Hoy, of Germany, will hold a masterclass.

On Sunday, follow the cross country phase in the beautiful surrounds of the Werribee Park Mansion, Werribee Open Range Zoo and the State Rose Garden.

Most important of all as far as The Regional’s horse news readers are concerned is to cheer our favourite horse Magical Merlin and his mum Lisa North around the course.

At 5pm a show jumping speed competition (one round stakes) will be held at indoor arena one. Competitors will “dress to impress” and ride to their own music as they compete for the fastest time and top prize. A prize will be also be presented for the best costume.

Finally, on Monday, the showjumping determines the final placings.

There is one point that visitors need to know – we all love our dogs, but Parks Victoria will not allow them outside the Equestrian Centre perimeter and as many of the most interesting fences are outside that area maybe give this some thought. Parks Victoria also frowns on the use of bikes.

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