Top effort by small club to pull off teams extravaganza
WITH just 20 members, Cobram Barooga Riding Club has put on a foot-perfect performance to run the massive Top Teams Dressage Championships at Elmore after years of cancellations.
The club won the right to conduct the championships in 2019 but 2020 and 2021 were wiped out by Covid and in 2022 the Elmore grounds were flooded.
This finally being the year the event returned to the calendar, the club outsourced the management of schedules and entries, found the caterers, booked the photographers and with shoulders squared did a great job.
With 649 entries to juggle, it was a mammoth weekend.
Along with the six permanent sand arenas at Elmore they also set up an additional four arenas on the grass.
Although competition is deadly serious, the team names always raise a smile. The Royal Corgi Collection, The Sand Dancing Divas and the Ride it Like you Stole it teams battled the Boneo Jelly Beans, Kyneton Cavalry, The Echuca Debs and Blackhill Desperate Horse Wives and the What’s the Problem Officer teams with good humour.
The winner, after the more than 150 teams had ridden their tests, was Benalla Showcase comprising Harley Graham, Jenny Graham, Imogen O’Brian and Jodie Hawes. They have earned the Benalla Adult Riding Club the right to host next year’s event.
In second place was Glenlyon Polo Club, a composite team from the Glenlyon and Bannockburn-Teesdale riding clubs comprising Karen Sandrow, Rebecca Talbot, Melinda Pritchard and Melissa Mitchell.
The Gisborne Guys and Girls – Tracey Lee, Anita Collins, Joanne Eftimova and David Abela – came in third.
Apart from the individual and team winners there were 20 special awards, some with sub sections.
Winners of these included Sally Marsden, who was named the Best Performed Cobram Barooga member with her mount Clarendon Park Avatar. Kathryn Cox riding Thiacan Bonita and Heather Campbell riding Destiny Soul were presented with very thoughtful awards for a cancer survivor or sufferer.
There were also six sections for best performed off-the-track Thoroughbred and breed awards.
Full results can be dowloaded below.
With some well-known show rider names in the advanced section, it reveals how many now find their happy place in a club situation without pressure.
Sufficient to say, this was a brilliant event that was well run, happy and left everyone looking forward to next year.
(Click any image to expand)
ABOVE: All images by TONI McCLUSKY of Equine Promotions Australia
Download full results
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