State titles organised in just three months packed to rafters
THE Victorian State Showjumping Titles run by the Northern Victoria Show Jumping Club at Shepparton showed how a great event can be pulled together in a short time frame if it has the right team behind it.
The state titles have previously been run for a number of years in April/May by Jumping Victoria and have grown into a big four-day show with three rings and several different title sections.
This year however, the jumping committee decided to seek expressions of interest from clubs to run the show.
NVSJC put in a proposal in July and found out in August that they had been successful and started planning.
To run such a great event three months later speaks volumes.
“It was a little late notice and the committee thought that we could put something smallish together,” NVSJC organiser Phillipa Davison- Jaques said.
“The momentum built and riders showed lots of interest.
“We decided to get stables and Steph Waddell and Emma Kirkbride put the work into sponsorship.”
Then the entries opened.
“Hours were spent crunching numbers,” Phillipa said.
“We had to be tough but fair. I ended up with about 150 spots on wait lists and turned away no less than another 12 requests for entries that we were completely unable to get in.
“Never have Nicole Laker and myself turned away late entries into classes – we hated saying no but our show was that full.
“In the end, although there were still some on wait lists, I was able to get most into classes.”
For those who made the cut, it was a great event with children’s, junior, young rider and senior title events, height classes from 55 to 130cms and a mini prix.
The senior Victorian champion was Russell Johnstone on Daprice.
Russell rode at the 1996 Olympics in showjumping on Southern Contrast and at 58 is campaigning a horse he feels might take him just as high.
There is a new generation of riders coming through though, and at Shepparton it was all about girl power.
The young rider championship went to Mikayla Hogg on Bellhaven Corringa, the junior title to Sienna Holdsworth-Rose on Coolart and the Children's title to Eliza Abrahams on Rocket Rod.
Zoe Wallace, Tori Glass and Charlee Dobbin are other young female riders to feature in the placings and deserve a mention.
In other major classes, Adam Prime won the Geoff Closter Memorial riding Saddle Up Smudge and Brook Dobbin the mini prix riding Devos GP.
The young horses and young riders were catered for with Harriet Thomson and Champagne Lola taking out the 70cm class, Ryan Waddell the 80cm on Oscar and Daniel Leach the 100cm on Glenara Cover Up.
At the end of the event, the hard-working committee got the praise they deserved.
“The feedback has been very thankfully received and it certainly makes our job of running events like these all worthwhile,” Phillipa said.
“Especially when I finally drove out of the gates at 9pm Sunday night, crawled into bed just after midnight and was at work by 8am Monday morning.”
(Click on any image to expand)
All images DYLAN MEALMAKER
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