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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Team championships take prize for happiest event of the year

ABOVE: Hadley Johnston was representing the Bealiba Pony Club. Picture: DALE WEBSTER

THE Victorian Pony Club Team Championships held at the Bendigo Showgrounds in March each year is simply the best and certainly the happiest of all events on the Pony Club calendar.

There’s showing, dressage, showjumping, games and stockman’s challenges, all accompanied by lots of laughter and cheering.

The emphasis is on being part of a team and the tiniest riders can contribute just as many points as the older, experienced riders - it’s all in together.

One team member’s mum made the comment that this is the only horse event her non- horsy child agrees to attend because it’s such fun. And that just about says it all.

ABOVE: Lily Gillespie of Maldon Pony Club.

The idea for the championships came after a decision in 2015 by the Pony Club Victoria State Council to move all the state events to the (then) PCV-owned property in Gladysdale.

This meant the zones would no longer host state events, which had been a good source of income.

As the representative of the mighty Midland Zone this concerned Sue Foley.

“I have always valued team competition so started thinking about how we could build an event that encouraged team participation and involved all pony club members and many of the disciplines taught at pony club,” she said.

“My own daughters competed at the Summer Royal for many years in the pony club ring so that program provided inspiration and is why the ‘special event’ is part of the program.

“A friend suggested adding the showmanship class, Clinton Hedger or maybe Debbie Weir said to change the name of the handy mount to stockman’s challenge, and so the event evolved.”

Timing of the event is important and Sue put a lot of though into choosing the dates.

“I chose the March long weekend for two reasons,” she said.

“One – the chance of reasonable weather and two, everyone involved would appreciate ‘recovery Monday’.

ABOVE: Isla Mealmaker of Mandurang South working out in the riding championship. Picture: DALE WEBSTER

“I can’t speak highly enough or express adequately my thanks to the team who from the start has given 100 per cent to this event.

“Thank you so much to the riders, families and their supporters for navigating your way through 16 rings and over 80 classes during the weekend. Without our sponsors, it wouldn’t be possible. Thank you all.”

Teams from the Mildura-Alcheringa Pony Club took out two of the top three placings for the team championships, with Mildura Menaces coming in first on 154 points and Mildy Mayhem third on 110. Separating them in second place was Trying our Best from Woodlands Pony Club on 123 points.

First place in the composite teams went to The Mane Attraction, made up of riders from the Mt Duneed and Barwon Valley clubs, with Bring It On (Macedon and Riddells Creek) just one point behind in second place and Trouble Makers (Hurstbridge/Barham-Koondrook) third.


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Download team results

Victorian Pony Club Team Championships 2023 team results
Download PDF • 311KB

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