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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Learning opportunities the top priority at development event

ABOVE: Ellie Roots and her champion Shetland Pony Glen Ardan Highlight. Picture: LORELLE MERCER

THE Show Horse Council of Australasia’s NSW/ACT Youth Development and Championship Showcase was a brilliant idea, executed perfectly.

Held at the Hawkesbury Showgrounds and designed be a youth development program as well as a qualifying event for the Grand National Show, it offered something for every young rider.

Show Horse Council president Kylee Cowgill said the event was more about training and learning than showing and winning “the golden ticket”.

It is held during the winter school holidays.

ABOVE: Indy Gardiner was one of the show’s champion riders. Picture: LORELLE MERCER

“This year we had trainers come from Queensland, South Australia and across NSW, as well as interstate judges for the showing competition,” Kylee said.

“The two days’ training consisted of flat work, riding positions, workouts, pole work, show presentation, led and handling, lunging and long reining, vet talks, feed and nutrition.

“The children had six lessons to attend, which are compulsory, over the two days then they are eligible for the show on the final day. Each child has a limit of two horses to ride.”

To balance the serious work, the 80 children and their families attending this year enjoyed a “Christmas in July” dinner, complete with a visit from Santa for the younger ones.

There was also a “funkhana”, with both social activities giving everyone the chance to mix, mingle and form friendships that may last a lifetime.

When it came to the more serious business of showing, the champion riders were Hallie Cowdroy (six and under nine), Indy Gardiner (nine and under 12) and Indigo Kelly (12 and under 15).

The first ridden saddle pony winner was Picturesque Prince ridden by Zara Donnolly. The child’s hack over 15 hands winner was Emma Chisholm’s Rosebrae Spectre.

Ivy Harris rode the winner of the ridden pony 12.2hh and under Leeara Park Peter Pan and Elle Roots’ Woranora Nobleman was the winning show hunter pony 12.2hh and under.

Millfield Quepid ridden by Lucinda O’Brien won the child’s show hunter over 15hh and Jessica Callus’ EBL Magic Mike was the show hunter galloway winner.


(Click on first image to enter slideshow - 19 images)

All images by LORELLE MERCER

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