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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

NSW, WA take the trophies at mounted games nationals

ABOVE: The junior trophy went to NSW. Picture: GRAIN & MANE

TEAMS from NSW and Western Australia took the two trophies home from the mounted games section of the Pony Club Australia National Championships held at Benalla, Victoria.

The big drive was worthwhile for the West Australians, with their senior team winning the count on 89 points from Tasmania on 77 and NSW on 74.

NSW won the junior games trophy in a close finish with WA and Victoria placing third.

The national championships are held every two years and rotated around the country.

It is a concept that sprang from Sydney being granted the hosting rights of the 2000 Olympics as a way of encouraging pony clubbers to strive for their Olympic dreams.

The disciplines involved are dressage, showjumping, eventing, tetrathlon and mounted games.

This year it was Western Australia’s turn to host the championships so, because of distance, there were state hubs for some of the events for dressage and showjumping, with some results judged on video.

The eventing was solely held in WA. Because you can't duplicate a cross country course in the same way as showjumping, not all states entered a team.

The tetrathlon was run in WA for three events (swimming, running and laser shooting) and the showjumping was done is each state, with each rider on their own horses, before they all headed for WA.

The mixed format allows a lot more riders to take part, whereas once you had to be prepared for everyone to travel to the host state with their horse for all events.

This year the mounted games, although hosted by Western Australia, were run at Benalla.

A small team from Pony Club WA made the big trip across the Nullarbor Plain with their multi coloured equipment van to run the event and did a great job.

The Sandgropers were on the move for three to five days, driving around 3350kms with cars, caravans and horse transports in a convoy with the intention of competing at the Mounted Games nationals from October 2 to 5, but also the Australian Mounted Games Association Pairs Championships from October 11 to 14 and the International Mounted Games Association Worlds Downunder Championships from October 8 to 14 at Werribee.

The teams were in Benalla for four days but due to heavy rain, the competitions were all run on one day.

The Northern Territory team rode borrowed horses but other teams brought their own.

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