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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Show season off and running with VAS championships

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

ABOVE: Rebecca Groen and Hollands Bend Furst Romance.

THE Victorian Agricultural Shows annual show horse championships at Bendigo have started off what will be a very busy season for the fashionistas of the horse world.

The show offers a wide variety of classes, ranging through open, first year, riding star sections to the increasingly popular off-the-track (OTT) classes for retired Thoroughbred racehorses and the HERO series for Standardbreds.

The led Standardbred champion was Fox Equestrian’s Kasbah Kid and the best presented award went to the Barton Family’s Brentwood After Dark.

ABOVE: Champion led Standardbred Kasbah Kid, led by Mitch Fox.

The HERO ridden series was won by Sebastian Bellamy’s Mazza's Delight with Hollie Hildebrandt’s Savesomtimetodream runner up.

The champion ridden show horse in the off-the-track section was Emperor, who raced as Emperor Hanwu, ridden by Ebonie Lee with the reserve going to Kensington (Mr King Brown) ridden by Sarah McMaster.

The winning OTT show hunter sash went to Alinta with Kara Woolcock riding, and the reserve was DP Touché, who raced as I am Dreaming, with Fox Equestrian’s Brooke Sweeney in the saddle.

Like a lot of big show event organisers, VAS has realised that the home- produced, owner-ridden horses need to be catered for if showing is to survive.

ABOVE: Notice Board and Kiana Addison.

They put together a good section that was well supported, with a clear set of rules. The approach will be seen at more and more events through the coming season.

The horse must be prepared by the primary owner or the primary owner’s immediate family and the rider’s principal source of income must not be obtained from sponsorship, breaking, training, riding or coaching any horse or rider over the previous two years.

Winners in this section included: open galloway, Eden Maddison and Karlana Let's Party; show hunter pony, Gracie Humphreys and Karlana Spring Chatter; open hack, Sue Thomas and Kristy Lee Wilson with Jadelee Xquisite; open galloway, Madeline Preedy and Tapu Patrone; show hunter hack, champion, Rachel and Kiana Addison with Prima Donna; and the show hunter galloway, Sharon Crilly and Master Brahms of Astral.

ABOVE: Ivy Aikman and Joanne Deane's Lentara Akoonah.

Children were well catered for, with classes right through from ponies to show hunters.

The tiny tots in the leading rein classes are always a joy, with happy little people bopping along at a steady trot.

The show hunter leading rein winner was Courtney Hobson’s Moorvale Sunbeam ridden by Adele Hobson and the open leading rein class went to Shae Russo’s Hibrie Summer Love ridden by her daughter, Violet Russo.

The open saddle Shetland champion, Tori Merygold’s Tara Park Spellbound, showed he’s as gentle as he is talented, carrying four-year- old Eva Robinson to a place in the leading rein Shetland class won by Kelissa O’Shannasy’s Royalview Silhouette ridden by Madison Bridge.

In the open classes winners included: open large saddle hack, Sabble Farm and Future Farms’ Volbeat; small saddle pony, Bridge Family’s Bellevale Hearts A Quiver; saddle galloway, Fiona Walsh’s Langtree Royal Affair; small saddle hack, Susan Bufton and Staughton Vale Henley; and large saddle pony, Kellie Withers’ Wilgo’s Country Music.


(Click any image to expand)


Prima Donna and Rachel Addison

Bellevale Hearts A Quiver owned by the Bridge family

Gracie Humphreys and Karlana Spring Chatter

Jessica Dertell and Yondella Davinci

Kara Woolcock and Alinka

Eva Robinson and Tara Park Spellbound

Prima Donna and Rachel Addison

Jessica Dertell and Yondella Davinci

Vicki O'Connell and Some Action

Jessica Dertell and Yondella Davinci

Nikki Humbert and Coldstream Upon a Star

Shugar Marshall

Jessica Dertell and Yondella Davinci

Harlow Lesko

Mitch Fox and Kasbah Kid

Sophie McCarroll on Kerulen Cossette

Shugar Marshall

Anastasia Pakusch

Addison Wate

Deanhills Showman - Robert Cockram

Harlow Lesko

Prima Donna and Rachel Addison

Anastasia Pakusch

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