• Fran Cleland

Horse news: briefs


Above: Nathalia Agricultural Show needs help from volunteers if it is to contunue.

LIKE too many struggling agricultural shows around Australia, Nathalia Show in Victoria has put out a cry for help and is holding a crisis meeting.

The local agricultural society is suffering with low member numbers, helper fatigue and the effects of covid.

“We desperately need some more help to get the Nathalia Show running again this year (Saturday, October 1),” said spokesperson, Kathleen Botteril. “If you can help in any way or want more information, please contact Ellen on 0447 529 878 and express your interest/ideas as soon as possible.”

A crisis meeting is being held on Thursday, June 9, at 7.30pm at the Nathalia Guide Hall in Weir St to look at the jobs that need to be done and decide if the show can be run this year.


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Equestrian Victoria is on the hunt for showjumping selectors.

The committee is looking for three or four passionate people to assist with team selection.

This may include, but is not limited to, selecting junior, young rider and senior teams to compete in championships events, as well as teams for possible interstate and international competitions.

They want a variety or people from different geographical locations, so there is representation for all riders across the state.

Equestrian Victoria’s high performance sub-committee representative Paul Williams will be there to assist and there are procedures in place to support selectors.

If you would like information about the role contact Braedyn in the EV office, phone (03) 9013 0707 or email admin@equestrianvictoria.com.au.


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WITH the FEI World Championships fast approaching, Australian Dressage riders are busy in the international arenas of Europe hoping for a team place.

Last week, five Australian combinations competed at CDI3* and CDIO5* levels throughout Europe, with all combinations finishing with a top 10 placing.

Mary Hanna and her favorite mare, Calanta, gained a third and fourth place, Simone Pearce and her new ride, Fiderdance, got a first and third. Warwick McLean and Hendrix 11 gained an impressive first and third, and Lyndal Oatley had placings with Eros and Elvive.

Jayden Brown and the Willunga Park horses have landed in Britain and intend to start competing as soon as the horses are ready.

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FIONA McIntyre has taken over as chairwoman of the Equestrian Victoria Showhorse Sub-committee.

Fiona has a wealth of experience in equestrian pursuits and administrative expertise. Apart from being involved with show horses all her life, she has been recognised for her tireless work in re-training and re-homing former racehorses by being presented with the 2020 Lady of Racing Award.

The committee extended its appreciation and gratitude to Peter Heagney for contribution to the industry in his capacity as chairman from July 2019 to March 2022. Peter has resigned from all board and committee roles. They also acknowledged the enormous contribution of Helen Heagney to the sub-committee and expressed regret at her resignation from the committee.


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A PLEA has gone out to save the Hackney Horse breed as there are just 31 breeding females left in the UK.

Hundreds of Hackney horses and ponies once elegantly pulled carriages around London, but today the breed is dying out because that mode of transport is no longer used.

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust, which is based in the UK has them listed as “at risk”, while the Rare Breeds Trust of Australia has classified both the Hackney Horse and Hackney Pony as “critically endangered”.

“People should keep Hackneys because they are part of our biodiversity and part of our history,” chief executive of RBST, Christopher Price, said.

“Historically, Hackneys were used for riding and carriage driving. A household would need a horse that was able to do both jobs - the Hackney was incredibly popular as they had great stamina to travel long distances and were very sure footed on uneven ground. There are a number of many general purpose Hackneys out there, but to most onlookers the breed is probably unrecognised as they might be mistaken for a thoroughbred cross.

“In truth, they make great riding ponies and horses - with lovely honest temperaments.”