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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Quiet joy of showing traditional harness soothes the soul

ABOVE: Maryanne and Sienna Finemore enjoying the day.

THE jingle of chains, the sparkle of big, turning wheels and the steady clop of hooves made the Victorian Tradesmen and Delivery Horse Group show a real pleasure.

The group is dedicated to preserving the history and authenticity of the heritage of traditional commercial horse drawn vehicles in Australia by continuing to hold shows at regional agriculture shows throughout Victoria.

They also have educational and instructional days regularly throughout the year in the Geelong, Gippsland and Heathcote areas.

At Heathcote, to be able to get a close up look at Brett and Faye Kennedy competing with the home-bred Blackwood Tilly in the Butchers, Bakers and Milkman’s Turnout was to see the craftmanship of years gone by.

Brett has done all of the work on this beautiful vehicle.

ABOVE: Brett and Faye Kennedy won the Butchers, Bakers and Milkman’s Turnout.

“I was gobsmacked when he decided to give it a complete overhaul but the new paint job is a credit to him,” Faye said.

The vehicle has working taps at the back, filled with water when on show instead of traditional milk.

The Pauline Thill Memorial Champion Tradesman's Turnout was won by Will Lewin with Jimmy in the long-shaft brake, a first-time ever win of this award for Will. Reserve champion was Bill and Beryl Jackson with Craiglea Farm Bobby, also in a long-shaft brake.

The Kevin Collins Memorial Champion Delivery Horse sash was won by the Jackson's Craiglea Farm Bobby with the reserve champion, Will Lewin with Jimmy.

Jimmy was also driven by Kiana Williams to second place in the Don Hewlett Memorial junior driver class won by Sienna Finemore driving Churchill.

ABOVE: Will Lewin with Willice Park Clifford and judge Richard Geldard.

The supreme champion led Clydesdale of the show was Will Lewin's Willice Park Clifford and the supreme champion led Clydesdale cross was won by Kiana Williams with Will Lewin's Jimmy.

It’s always charming to watch lady drivers, beautifully turned out with light harness horses stepping gracefully around the ring. The winner of the Con Cours De Elegance and Light harness champion was Esther Goodwin and her hackney Vicountshill Cadillac driven in a 100-year-old spider.

A spider is a convertible, two-seater roadster, with the name thought to have been derived from the appearance of the carriage being rather spider-like with its small body, and large wooden wheels with thin spokes.

The group will hold another event in November, it’s well worth a look.

ABOVE: 1. A turnout done to perfection. 2. Jason Mullenger with Dominion Park Lawson in the long-shaft brake turnout. 3. Esther Goodwin and her hackney Vicountshill Cadillac. 4. Champion Tradesman’s Turnout shown by William and Janice Lewin and Hayley Bebb.

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