• Fran Cleland

Tatura reins in the champions for a classic four-day event

FOUR days of competition showed just how popular reining is as a sport in Australia.

Days started early and finished late for the US judge Ben Balow and Australian Pamela Spokes.


Previously known as Buckle Up and Slide, the 2022 Goulburn Valley Reining Horse Association committee decided to return the event name to its original title – The Water Wheel Reining Classic.


ABOVE: Graham Cooper and Lethal Little Lady won the three-year-old futurity. Picture: SALLY H

Traditionally one of Australia’s largest reining events attracting competitors from all over the country, the 2022 classic was held at the Tatura Park and event complex in Victoria.


The first official class to kick off the event was the men’s and ladies event with 43 horse and rider combinations. Three champions marked a 70 point score to set a great pace for the rest of the show.


The ladies champion was Michelle Moore riding Who Whiza Whimp with the co- reserves being Rita Mezo and Little Gold Digger and Alice Nixon’s Heza Flashy Einstein.


In the men’s section, co- champions were David Norbury on Lethal Maximus and Mitch Dunnachie riding Perfect Revolution.


The maturity was run con-currently with the derby and five-year-old horses were eligible to compete.


Cameron Halliwell and Gunnergetya claimed the non-pro title, with Graham Cooper aboard the imported The Voodoo That U Do owned by Karn Quarter Horses taking out the open.


The open maturity champion was Graham Cooper riding The Voodoo That U Do and reserve champion was David Norbury and Red Whizz A Storm.


The non-pro maturity was won by Cameron Halliwell and Gunnergetya , with the reserve going to Michelle Moore and Who Whiza Whimp.


A strong field of up-and-coming horses were presented in the snaffle bit classes.


The open snaffle bit champion was David Norbury and Starlight Storm, with reserve going to Chelsea Jade Ragg on Kids Gunner Party.


The non-pro snaffle bit winner was Jhi Watts on Electric Gun and reserve was Juliana Sheridan riding Justa Hollywood Cabernet.


ABOVE: Nicole Riemer in the green reiner section.

There were 33 horse and rider combinations for the green reiner class won by Nicole Riemer on ME Big Time Whimp.


Nicole and her sister Danyel have shown show horses with huge success since childhood, but both have found a new sport and are enjoying themselves enormously.


The reserve champion green rider was Alice Nixon on Heza Flashy Einstein.


Click here for more photography by Sally H.