• Fran Cleland

Royal judges stepping back onto familiar turf


ABOVE: The Garryowen will be run for the 88th time this year and Rebecca Farrow will be hoping for a third win.

THE 2022 Melbourne Royal judges list has landed and show organisers have gone for experienced people when it comes to this prestigous event.


Many of those judging are previous competitors who spent their childhood competing in the original big competition ring and running round the old blue stables at the northern end.


The show was not held for the last two years and to make up for this, the 2022 Melbourne Royal Show Horses in Action Competition features an extended timetable, improved scheduling and the chance to share in over $100,000 in cash and prizes.


The Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout is in its 88th year and judging panel member Deanne Melrose, of Yarra Glen, is thrilled to be part of an event that means so much to her.


“There is nothing like competing at Melbourne Royal,” she said.


“The total calm that washes over your body as you step on to the main arena. I remember looking up at the stands searching all the faces for my parents, looking for an ‘ok’ hand signal from my Dad.


“Nothing else on earth feels like the main arena – the buzzing in my soul, the smells, the noise even the air tastes different.”


Ms Melrose said it was hard to describe waiting for the winners to be announced.


“The joy of not only a win but any placing is only heightened by hearing your number called and then your name announced,” she said.


“I remember bursting with pride, trotting with the red coat as you led everyone off around the track, grinning ear-to-ear.


“It’s exciting to think I will play a part in that experience for this year’s competitors.”


Gary Beaton has also competed at the show with great success, and will now judge the classes he rode in the past.


“I think it’s an absolute privilege and honour to judge at any Royal show, but to judge at your own state Royal is fantastic. I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.


The 2022 Royal Melbourne Show horse judges are:


Stock Horses: Sue Lind.

Stock Horses (General Appearance): Jayne Stuchbery

Led Clydesdales: Louise Beer

Harness Clydesdales: Joe Lawrence

Ridden Clydesdales: TBC

Tradesman and Delivery: Joe Lawrence

Light Harness: Noel Collins

Saddle Hacks: Garry Beaton

Saddle Galloways: Lisa Smith

Saddle Ponies: Louise Barton

Open Child’s Mounts: Megan Howe

Show Hunter Hack: Shelley Penny

Show Hunter Galloways: Amanda O’Sullivan

Show Hunter Ponies: Caroline Reid

Show Hunter Child’s Mounts: Megan Howe

Leading Rein: Allison Woodroofe

Senior Riding: Jan Smith

Intermediate Riding: Allison Woodroofe

Junior Riding: Robyn Pearce

Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout (riding): Catherine Neill

Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout (C & S): Michael Tweedie Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout (Saddlery): Cynthia Doherty

Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout (Mount): Carol Hassell

Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout (GP): Dearne Melrose

Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout (Costume): Penny Verco

Esquire Equestrienne Turnout (riding): Carole Hassell

Esquire Equestrienne Turnout (C & S): Catherine Neill

Esquire Equestrienne Turnout (Saddlery): Dearne Melrose

Esquire Equestrienne Turnout (Mount): Penny Verco

Esquire Equestrienne Turnout (GP): Jan Smith

Esquire Equestrienne Turnout (Costume): Cynthia Doherty

Junior Turnouts (riding): Caroline Reid

Junior Turnouts (C & S): Lynette Cameron

Junior Turnouts (Saddlery): Cynthia Doherty

Junior Turnouts (Mount): TBC

Junior Turnouts (GP): Allison Woodroofe

Junior Turnouts (Costume): Claire McDonald

Show Jumping: Anne Garner

Hunting: Gary le Brocq

Led OTT Thoroughbred: Caroline Reid