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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Nothing beats a country gymkhana in our eyes


ABOVE: Maddie Brennan enjoying her day out. Picture: MARTIN FLANAGAN

THE REGIONAL covers all sorts of important events like national championships and royal shows, but at ground level our very favorite ones – the ones that make us smile and remember where we all started – are those like the Nathalia Pony Club Gymkhana.


Many of us looking at the photos remembered the wonderful, patient ponies and the basic gear we all had back then. The sort of events where no one really cared what colour ribbons you took home, as long as you got to hang out with your mates.


Organiser Rachel Whitelegge said the club had not considered they would get such a big turnout


“We haven't held a gymkhana in over 13 years,” she said.


“As a club we had no idea how the event would go – all we were hoping for was a few people to turn up and have a great day.


ABOVE: Both Trixie Knowles-Mulholland and her pony smile for the camera. Picture: MARTIN FLANAGAN

“I personally think we managed to do that – every time I looked up there was more and more horse floats coming through the front gate and I started to think ‘oh my god, are we going to have enough ribbons and prizes’.”


The gymkhana attracted more than 60 riders for the day, competing in pony club, open, sporting and fun rings.


The highly anticipated event was the fancy dress, which had 18 entries with lots of fabulous outfits.


Major award winners for the day included Malibu Park Top Trend owned by Taylah Leask, who was awarded the sash for supreme led exhibit.


The supreme ridden exhibit was Dalpura Pinocchio ridden by Mea Whitelegg, who was also the winner of the pony club junior high point 12 years and under.


The supreme rider was Kate Newton of Echuca riding Southern Moon, the highest placed off-the-track Thoroughbred.


The pony club senior high point 13 years and over winner was Maddison Files riding Biscuits. Maddison is a member of the Nathalia District Pony Club.


The fancy dress, very much the event of the day, was taken by Taylah Leask riding Malibu Park Top Trend and her clown side kick, mum Melinda.


GALLERY

(Click any image to expand)

All images MARTIN FLANAGAN


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