Schools converge for grand final weekend at Werribee
THE dressage and showjumping grand finals for this year’s Victorian Equestrian Interschools Series have been held over two days at Werribee Park.
Run by Equestrian Victoria, it has become big business after a humble start 20 years ago.
Many schools now advertise horse riding on their curriculum, teams wear matching outfits and there are national championships.
The series is separate from the Equestrian Victoria Interschools Championships and have a series of qualifying events before a grand final.
There were 13 in the advanced showjumping final on the weekend, with some of the youngsters taking part already making a name for themselves in open competition.
The championship went to Mirri Lang riding Another Billion for Salesian College Rupertswood. She claimed the win by one point over the qualifying series from Amelia Tsilfidis and Pride of Gold from Melbourne Girls Grammar School.
Toorak College’s Zara Adnams on Dingmac Disco King was champion in the Intermediate level jumping, with Joel Lamb and JB Little Gun hot on her heels in second place for Gippsland Grammar.
Chairo Christian School’s Harley McNaughton and Mobile App won the progressive level championship. He was back in championship position with a second ride on Viewmont Apricot in the improvers section. Nambrok/Dennison Primary School is situated approximately 20km from Rosedale, Sale, Heyfield and Maffra, in an area which is predominantly dairy farming. As a smaller school it featured several times in placings in jumping and dressage and placed fifth overall in the showjumping teams placings. Ava Harrington riding Brian was a clear winner in the encourage level.
The overall showjumping team winners were Toorak College.
The competition was perhaps even fiercer in dressage. The small tour championship was split between Bella Plumridge riding Illawong Harvest Moon for Yarra Valley Grammar and Lucy Coventry riding Quizzical for Toorak College.
Beth Rowley from Braemar College rode Remi First Class to win the advanced championship and in the Medium Level, Jazi French’s Urodel Du Texier from Peninsula Grammar won on a count back from Rosemary Heagney’s Redgum James 007 from Kardinia International College.
Finley High School sisters Caitlin Griffiths on Glyndower Brea Galahad and Sophie Griffiths on Benita PD made the long trip down from the border worthwhile taking the championship and runner up in in the elementary level.
Dressage is such a popular sport at schools that the lower sections were split into senior, intermediate and primary divisions, which must have made the scorers’ job of finding level champions difficult.
Novice senior level champion was Zoe Warner on Mister Moby from Toorak College.
Shayleigh Joblin riding Maxwell Matador Royale from The Geelong College was novice intermediate champion and Morgan Cockerell and Monteith Brunton from Moriac Primary School were the novice primary champions.
The dressage preparatory champion was Isabella Hardman riding Osory Honeycomb for the Botanic Ridge Primary School. Kardinia International College and Toorak College shared the overall championship.