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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Harness, hunting and heavy horses round off royal show

ABOVE: The supreme exhibit over 14hh Asante Sane of Bracken Hill. Picture: MANE MEMORIES

MELBOURNE Royal Show fell victim of Victoria’s capricious weather once the show horse section had finished.

The showjumping competitors got just one day’s competition done before the skies opened and the ground surface, so important to the safety of jumping horses, made it impossible to proceed.

The program was cancelled and the showjumpers loaded their trucks and went home. This meant there were no horse events at all on the arena on Friday, possibly a unique happening at the show.

The Clydesdale judging went on under cover, with the grand championship going to the mare Aarunga Ellwyn, exhibited by A.T. Marriott and family. They also showed the champion stallion, Aarunga Franklin.

ABOVE: champion stallion Aarunga Franklin exhibited by A.T. Marriott and family.

The Cox family showed the junior champion filly Valmont Rosetta.

These two families have shown the great horses at Melbourne for generations. It is a pity that the great days when more than 100 Clydesdales would lead the Grand Parade into the big arena – at a time when Victoria was known to have one of the finest displays of Clydesdales in the world – won’t be seen again now the focus of the show is elsewhere.

The best ridden heavy horse was Larvistryn Hunter ridden by Vanessa Wells.

The Wee Willie junior handler award for handlers under 18 years was won by Nevaeh Waetford handling Willice Park Ellen Rose and the junior driver (under 18 years) of a Clydesdale mare or gelding driven in reins, collar and hames winner was Kiana Williams.

On the final Saturday, with fine weather and some improvement in the going, the traditional hunters had their time, although the section fours weren’t held.

The champion hunter on the flat was a spectacular pinto called Opinion, ridden by Fiona McIntyre from Barwon Hunt Club.

ABOVE: Elsa Avery driving Crosswynds Our Brennin. Picture: MANE MEMORIES

Oaklands Hunt Club’s Kathleen Cust won the champion qualified hunter sash and the Noel Mason Memorial Hunters Plate with Dulverton ridden by Paige Douglas.

The light harness horses were the final competitors.

The champion show harness horse was Murroka Miriam exhibited by Murroka and Carbery Estate, and the second and third generations of the John Patterson family showed their talent with their heavy horse Joe putting his best foot forward to assist John’s daughter Sheralee to win champion lady driver of a delivery vehicle and his grand-daughter Ellen to win the class for junior driver 10-18 years.

The champion Shetland in harness was Careal Mr Fancy Pants, a home-bred pony driven by Carly Thomas from another family with a long Melbourne Show competition history.

Rodney Lane’s Naringalook Gandalf was champion pony 12hh and under, the Barlow family’s Nagero Harmony was supreme light harness pony 14hh and under and the champion single turnout was Worella Park William exhibited by the Collins family.

The supreme exhibit over 14hh was Asante Sane of Brackenhill, a purebred Friesian by Norbert, shown by Mckeone and Chessons.

Click on images to expand

ABOVE: reserve champion Clydesdale stallion Willice Park Clifford exhibited by Will Lewin, junior champion Clydesdale filly exhibited by the Cox Family and champions pony 12hh and under Rodney Lane's Naringalook Gandalf.

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