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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Show horses take their turn in main arena at Sydney Royal

Updated: May 17, 2023

ABOVE: Big pony champion Royalwood Enchanting and Catherine Gale. Picture: LORELLE MERCER

CHRIS and Vicky Lawrie are well known for their wins in the show ring but their success at Sydney Royal this year was exceptional by any standard.

“Sydney Royal is our favourite show,” Vicky said.

“Kolbeach Holly’s Chiffon was best novice pony, Kolbeach Cowboy was best novice galloway and Royal Music was judged as best novice hack.

“We were thrilled with our young guns, all with exciting futures for their owners.”

The Lawries also train the champion hack, Royal Blu, and were happy that the Vince Corvi Memorial Perpetual Trophy for the rider of the champion hack went to his rider/owner Alanna Richards, as the famous master showman was Vicky’s original teacher.

ABOVE: Phillipa Whitaker from New Zealand won the Ida Buring Turnout. Picture: LORELLE MERCER

Alanna, riding Royal Blu, was also delighted to take out the Pope Cup.

“It’s a dream come true on my own horse I have started from a green horse off the track,” she said.

Hack judge Alice Homer rode each horse and fellow judge, Loraine Homer assessed the conformation with saddle off then the final four were chosen to do a free workout. Royal Blu was champion and Rebekah Bennett’s Royalwood Stage Show was reserve.

Fiona Kittson-Walsh’s Langtree Royal Affair was judged as champion galloway and Leah Walsh, Beechwood Bells were reserve.

Melissa Gillies’ Verdict By Direction is unstoppable at present, winning the show hunter championship at the Showhorse NSW Spectacular show, the Grand National and at the Royal Sydney Show.

The big handsome horse has bling as well as good looks and great action and finished at the head of a strong line-up, with Tracie-Lee Wells and Miss Tahlia Wells Costar, reserve.

In the show hunter galloways, Margot Haynes, David Quayle and Kate Reid’s Lily's Sovereign was champion, with Emily Murray’s Reigal Manolete reserve.

ABOVE: Alanna Richards and Royal Blu and Rebekah Bennett on Royalwood Stage Show after the hack championship presentation. Picture: LORELLE MERCER

In the show hunter ponies, the classic type of pony was at the top of the lines. Lily Hennessy- Byford made the trip from West Australia worthwhile to win the big show hunter pony championship with Kennallywood Alabama with Leanne Corney’s Bell's Mountain Arizona standing reserve.

Maddison Ball’s Chrysler Park Pixi was the small champion with Kaluda Park’s Kaluda Park Forever Kisses reserve.

In the show pony section, Royalwood Stud scored a breeding double when Catherine Gale, Margot Haynes and David Quayle’s Royalwood Enchanting was the big champion and Chelsea Morelli’s Royalwood Stage Princess was reserve.

The small pony champion was Gemma Wells’ Yartarla Park Louis Vuitton with reserve going to Livy-Pearl Gill’sDunelm Last Dance.

The Australian National Show Horse classes were well supported, with the Supreme Champion Australian National Saddlehorse in hand award going to Dianne Phillips’’ La Bella. The champion under saddle sash went to Queensland with Hannah Erkin‘s Dreamtime Flirtini.


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1. Royalwood West End and Margot Haynes winner hack over 15hh & n.e. 15.2hh.

2. Lily’s Sovereign champion show hunter galloway ridden by Margot Haynes.

3. Rebekah Bennet’s Royalwood Stage Show was reserve champion hack.

4. Kolbeach Holly’s Chiffon best novice pony.

5. Verdict by Direction and Mel Gillies.

6. The English judges

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