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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

On with the show as Wangaratta defies the odds

ABOVE: It was high fives all round after Wangaratta powered through its horse program despite the rain. Kauta Schwartz and Mathew Graham celebrate a broad ribbon. Picture: GRAIN & MANE

WANGARATTA Agricultural Show was one of the few to survive last week’s deluge.

“In the lead up to the show we saw many agricultural shows cancelled, but the Wangaratta Show office was optimistic of continuing, have run rain, hail, flood previously,” chief horse steward Megan Howe said.

“An inspection of the grounds on the Thursday confirmed we were good to go, even for the showjumping. Wangaratta is lucky that their oval has exceptional drainage and is also on a rise, so wasn’t low lying for water flow, they also have plenty of bitumen parking available.”

Friday’s major prize winners in the riding ring were champion rider under 12 years, Maisy Saunders, champion rider 12-18yrs, Lacey Solimo, and champion rider 18yrs and over, Georgia Kellock.

In the open rings the champions were Elli Lee with Edgewood Jukebox, Maisy Saunders and Barrindale Anthem, Emily Murray’s Xcel of Sefton, Greg Mickan’s Melody Park Royal Quartet, Ebony Lee’s Emperor and Georgia Kellock’s Givenchy.

ABOVE: Elli Lee and mum Tamara.

The champions in the show hunter ring were Ellie Lee with Dalgangle Piccadilly, Lacey Solimo’s FIlou Lane Rainman, Ellie Lee with Peanuts, Ebonie Lee with Tamrie Park Prince Charles, Emily Murray’s Rielgal Manolet, the Lee Family’s Cheraton Art Deco, Chantel Thomas’s Pondery Stud Lovely and Georgia Kellock with Cloudz.

The overall Supreme Ridden exhibit was won by Ebonie Lee with Tamrie Park Prince Charles. Another special award presented on the day was the HS Docker memorial trophy. In days gone by this used to be awarded to the under 12-year-old turnout class however, the demand in turnout classes has greatly declined and it is now presented to the Champion Ridden Child’s exhibit, which was won by Ellie Lee on Dangangle Piccadilly.

Even the wet weather on the Friday evening didn’t dampen enthusiasm for the show, with plenty of people taking the kids along for the evening entertainment of fireworks display, even though the motorbikes had to be cancelled.

Saturday brought brilliant weather and entries were boosted by so many other events being cancelled.

“Pre Covid, the numbers on the Saturday had been dwindling and it was thought that this year might have been the last year to run show and breed classes on the Saturday,” Megan said. “We ended up with good support in most breed classes.”

The overall Supreme Led was won by Maryann Finnemore’s Chevally Park Sonic, which also took out the Large Ridden breeds champion.

The Pony Breeds ridden champion was won by Megan Hewitt’s Nattai River Limelight and winner of the Alabar Trophy was Mitch Fox on Kasbah Kid.

In the open section winners included Ebony Lee’s Whitmere Madison, Samantha McMaster’s Destiny’s Image, Ebony Lee’s Wynara Signature, A Brown’s Malibu Park Top Trend, Elka Torren’s Rosendale Class Act and Mia Heinrich’s Weifs Applause.

In the Show Hunter section, winners were Mitch Fox’s Bell de Jour, Anna Richard’s Treelea Park Casino Royal, Micaela Gasperotti’s Garsella Aristotle, Nina Smith’s Bamborough Evoke, Aisha Heinrich’s Cheraton Caesar and Sammy McMaster’s Somerset Hit.


Showjumping was held over both days, but numbers were down on Friday.

“It was disappointing that more riders didn't have faith in the grounds holding up for the showjumping, especially on the Friday,” Megan said.

“They coped with the weather brilliantly, so a big thank you to those competitors who did support the classes on day one.”

The major award for showjumping at Wangaratta is the John Canning Memorial award for the High Point Show Jumper over the two days.

Those who had the good fortune to meet John would know he was a great character and highly respected in the region through jumping and pony club.

“When I pulled out the sash to take it over to the showjumping ring even the show horse stewards commented on how much we miss him,” Megan said.

The award this year went to another character of the showjumping fraternity, Bryan Curnow.

“He has always been a great supporter of our show with his family and this year his daughter Mikaela competed with him both days.”

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