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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

North Eastern zone takes shield at horse trials championships

Updated: May 12, 2023

ABOVE: Lilah Potter and Rawnaq from Yarra Glen & District Pony Club. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG

THE North Eastern zone has won the interzone team shield at the Pony Club Victoria Horse Trials Championships, hosted this year by the Balnarring Pony Club and Southern Metro Zone.

They finished four points ahead of Barwon zone with East Gippsland in third place.

The oldest event on the Pony Club calendar, the championships have changed a lot since first held in 1955.

The first inter-branch competition was held by Mornington Peninsula Pony Club. The horse trials state championships was in the past conducted annually by one of the 10 zones in Pony Club Victoria, for qualified grade one riders and produced many Olympians, including Andrew Hoy.

But, like all things, times have changed and this year’s event held classes right down to grade five. It is still down-to-earth, and unlike the dressage pony club, there’s not a lot of fancy prefixes in the horses lists and seven out of the 12 grade one horses had OTT (off the track) after their name. Four won their sections and 50 riders shared their event with Thoroughbreds. No doubt they are less expensive than the average Warmblood, but they have a long history as the starting point for ambitious young riders and have done their job well.

ABOVE: Sarah McMaster from Euroa Pony Club and her OTT Thoroughbred Holy Host. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG

The Grade one winner was Lilah Potter and Rawnaq from Yarra Glen Pony Club. Sarah McMaster on Holy Host from Euroa Pony Club was half a point behind in second place.

In Grade two, J’Amie Mallon and Shinakuma from Riddells Creek Pony Club won, with Abby Noxon on Teasing to Please from Balnarring Pony Club taking second on a countback from Charlotte Armstrong and ESB Golden Musician fromYarrambat Pony Club.

Grade three was split, with section 3A won by Ebony Harvey and Treasured Nadal from Tooradin Dalmore and grade 3B went to Olivia Sleep and Dixies Miss Holly from Merricks Pony Club.

Grade four was also split with wins going to Courtney Thompson and River Tavi from the Southern Metro Magicians team and 4B to Freya Sullivan and Monty Python from NEZ Legends.

The grade five winner was Ivy Williams and Bannon Park Demon from The North Westerlies.

The John Barlee Perpetual Shield was won by the Balnarring Bays – Abby Noxon on Teasing to Please, Jessica Biggins on Regardez Secrets and Amy Slocombe on Willunga Just Because.

The members of the North Eastern zone team were Olivia Cleave, Lilli Martin, Freya Sullivan, Amanda Ward, Louise Barnes, Charlie Gall, Mya Player, Amelia Elkington, Violet MacCalman, Carly Marshall, Ruby Brough, Charlie Gall, Isabelle Beecroft, Felicity Murtagh, Charli Hobbs, Lauren Stone. The riders competing individually were Sarah McMaster, Sarah Marshall, Jessica Jallands, Rory Hamilton, Tiahn Barnard, Aimee Hourigan, Lenni Ridgeway, Alex Davies, Tara Craddock and Felicity Murtagh.

Attention now turns to the Games and Musical Ride Championships at Bacchus Marsh in June.

ABOVE: Jasmine Lynch from East Gippsland and Bubbles. Picture: ONE-EYED FROG

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