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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Hunt clubs like Barwon in their element when winter bites

ABOVE: The open gentleman’s plate winner Harry Borrack with his father Luke. Harry beat his dad and the rest of his family to also win the open plate. Picture: LISA GREEN of MANE MEMORIES

DEEP in winter is when the hunt clubs gather socially to show off their horses as saddle mounts, working hunters and in hunters’ plates.

Barwon Hunt Club held its show last weekend, with some quality horses put forward for Mariece Paine to judge.

The show was an opportunity to pay respects to hunting identity Kathleen Cust, who died recently at the age of 78.

Kathleen was well known for her role in organising the hunting classes at the Royal Melbourne Show.

Master Kate DiLecce paid tribute to Kathleen on the day and Paige Douglas, who worked for Kathleen, rode her horses Derwent and Sleeping Beauty to honour her.

Derwent took out champion heavyweight hunter.

Jonathon Lumsden won the open hunter turnout riding Captain Kidd, from Marian Murphy on Oakley and Chloe Hunter with Lily.

Captain Kidd was also the winner of the open lightweight hunter.

In the novice ridden classes the winners were Tegan Long’s Regulus, Paige Douglas’ Sleeping Beauty and Angela Blair’s Hamish.

Regulus also won the off-the-track novice hunter.


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ABOVE: Tegan Long and Regulus, Jonathon Lumsden and Captain Kidd, Paige Douglas and Sleeping Beauty and Fiona McIntyre and Opinion. Pictures: LISA GREEN of MANE MEMORIES

The open hunter class was won by Fiona McIntyre’s Life Less Ordinary, aka as “Irish”.

Fiona is a long-time supporter of the Barwon Hunt Club, having attended their first hunt at Frogmore in the 1990s.

“Barwon a wonderful club who are supportive and have great camaraderie and are always welcoming on the field or at their show,” she said.

Fiona is an accredited re-trainer for Thoroughbreds and says off-the-track racehorses are well-suited to being used as hunting mounts.

“I’m a passionate advocate for the off-the-track Thoroughbreds who make the ideal mount with their stamina and foot work across various terrains,” she said.

“Life Less Ordinary is an imported horse who was trained by Chris Waller. He had a successful racing career amassing over $1.3 million in prize money including wins at Flemington and the Wagga Cup.

“Irish has taken to the hunt field like a duck to water and is a pleasure to ride. He also won light hunter at 2022 Royal Melbourne Show in his first season.”

Fiona’s other mount, Opinion, was champion open hunter. Sired by Kenlock Superman, he is a dual-purpose boy that hunts during the winter and is a show hunter in summer.

The hunters’ plate judge, Ivan Bunting, was huntsman for Melbourne and Barwon hunt clubs and master of Tocumwal Hunt Club, and he had a nice line-up in his section.

The junior plate went to Steph Wilks riding Battle of Shiloh, while Paige Douglas won the novice and open ladies plate with Sleeping Beauty.

Young Harry Borrack, age nine, was the winner of the open gentleman’s plate riding Benmore Pizazz and also took the open plate sash defeating his father, siblings and mother.

Jenny Daffy capably judged the three working hunter classes where Angela Blair and Hamish won the 60cm class, Paige Douglas and Sleeping Beauty the 75cm class and Rachael Keeton and Hunter the 90cm class.

ABOVE: Lily ridden by Chloe Hunter. Picture: LISA GREEN
ABOVE: Harry Borrack and Benmore Pizazz. Picture: LISA GREEN
ABOVE: Paige Douglas and Sleeping Beauty. Picture: LISA GREEN
ABOVE: Annabelle McDonald, who according to her mum prefers showjumping. Picture: LISA GREEN

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