• Fran Cleland

Riders writing themselves into history of Woady Yaloak


ABOVE: Isabel Houghton and on her way to winning won the 80cm A division. Picture: FELICITY CLAY

THE Woady Yaloak area surrounds the mining district of the Woady Yaloak Creek from Haddon to the Devil’s Kitchen. The name means running water in indigenous language.


Its history is interesting, but as far as horse riders are concerned its main importance is that it is the place where one of the season’s best horse trials are held.


The Friends of Woady Yaloak Equestrian Association was started to run events at the grounds in Smythesdale Victoria to raise money to further develop and improve the facilities. They run two EA horse trials per year plus several clinics with top level riders instructing.


ABOVE: David Middleton had a successful event. Picture: FELICITY CLAY

David Middleton had a successful day, riding first and second placegetters in the three-star class, with WEC In The Swing winning by 10 points from WEC In The Breeze. Both horses improved their placings after the dressage phase. Edward Darby led after dressage and showjumping on Dawn of the Day but did not start in the cross-country phase.


Laura Hercules led from start to finish in the two-star class on Ballahowe Wildside in a maximum- sized field where fortunes changed for many after the jumping phases.


The popular event had to hold two totally filled one-star classes, where the winners were Avril Charman’s Annabella and Amy Gotts on Wheeler’s Sharvalley Furst.


In the EA 95cm classes, dressage marks were fairly close and most horses seemed to handle the jumping well, but as is often the case with riders of young horses doing the right thing, giving the horses the chance to consolidate their experience meant they didn’t hurry them, and time penalties played a part in moving the placings.


Winners in the two divisions were Ebony Toole’s Art Class and Delwyn Ogilvy, backing up her last-start win, once again leading from start to finish with Honourdale.


The EA 80cm classes are always a joy. There are such nice horses and ponies enjoying themselves, and there’s not so much pressure.


Isabel Houghton won the first division on the off-the-track Thoroughbred Yoicks Eleanor. She waswatched by her mum, Janet, who took a day off from organising the Melbourne International three-day event to support her.


Yona Lloyd’s Mischief Managed To Day took out the second division.


Click here for full results.

Click here for more photography by Felicity Clay.