top of page
  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Riders show their versatility at Royal Darwin Show


ABOVE: Sophie Carlton and Midnight Marvel had an excellent show in the dressage arenas.

THE Royal Darwin Show rolls around when the lower states are cold and grey and horses are only starting preparations for the spring run of big shows.


In lovely sunshine, the dressage, jumping and show horse classes attracted a great crowd of onlookers and good competition.


There’s always plenty of versatility shown among the young riders at the royal.


Kelly Barker competed in pony club classes, showjumping and novelties with her stock horse Opus Magnum, placing in multiple show jumping and novelty events and carrying Kelly to win reserve champion pony club rider.


Harrison Branson always has a red hot go at all disciplines and went from the pony club ring to showjumping to show hunter classes. He was awarded champion pony club rider, his horse Roper Bar Brumby was champion pony club mount and, in the showjumping arena, he finished second with two clear rounds.


In the dressage Sophie Carlton was the winner of the Pam Crellin Memorial trophy for the highest dressage score, with 74 per cent.


The off-the-track events for ex Thoroughbred racehorses are as strong in the NT as they are in the southern states and Brooke Huppatz and Look at him go (aka Cyril) won the champion thoroughbred junior rider event.


Layne Martin was named the champion open showjumper after three days of tough jumping competition saw him achieve the top point score without dropping a rail for the whole show.


The show classes were judged by Fiona Fehlberg and Andrea Riedel-Carrison across three days, with the breed and any other breed led and ridden classes on the Thursday, open classes on the Friday and rider classes on the Saturday.


ABOVE: Supreme champions rider Sam Cargeeg.

“Most horses were entered in each section throughout the show, and some also competed in the showjumping as well as showing,” Fiona said.


“The standard of horses and riders has improved over the years, and they have some lovely horses.”


She said showing in Darwin does have its quirks and challenges.


“It didn't help when the pipe band started up behind one of the sheds, and the hunter hacks flew into orbit. Poor horses couldn't see where the noise was coming from, and the rat-a-tat-tat from the drum was too much for some.


“I think the riders do a wonderful job keeping their horses looking so well in the heat in Darwin. It’s such a tough climate to prepare competition horses.”


The judges selected Sam Cargeeg as the supreme champion rider, with Ashleigh Overall champion junior rider and Grace McDonald champion intermediate.


Nicole Mutimer’s black mare My Princess Belle was supreme champion show hunter and Ashleigh Overall’s Allambie Park Belladonna was champion show hunter pony.


Reece Callow rode Casper to win the champion show pony sash and Charlie Hebbron’s Cheraton Valentina was best novice show horse and champion galloway.


The McDonald family’s Justify had a very successful show winning champion led hack, champion child’s mount, champion hack mount and finally supreme champion hack of Darwin Royal Show.


ABOVE: High-point showjumping champion Layne Martin.

Stories on The Regional’s website are free to read and always will be.

If you enjoyed this article you can show your support by joining our mailing list (either by filling out the form below or sending us a message).

We'd also get very excited if you put a "like" on our Facebook page.

bottom of page