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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Trans-Tasman challenge brings big field of youths, amateurs


ABOVE: Lacey Lalor and Triandibo Inblack Velvet. Picture: EV LAGOON PHOTOGRAPHY

COMPETITORS from across Victoria, New Zealand and New Caledonia gathered at Benalla in Victoria for the Trans-Tasman Challenge.


Australian, US and New Zealand quarter horse associations combine every second year to run the event.


The event is for amateur competitors of different age groups and abilities, with 36 local horse loaned to the overseas riders to compete on.


The week-long event was filled with competitions and educational sessions, with the Australian amateur team manager Trish Wettenhall saying there was a real international flavour to the schedule.


ABOVE: Carol Ahern on board Triandibo Intrinsichic. Picture: EV LAGOON PHOTOGRAPHY

“We started the week with clinics and educational sessions across the three countries,” she said.


“The youth work alongside the amateurs in groups and spend half a day each with an American trainer, and the other half a day they spend with their own coaches.”


On the Friday morning, they held the ranch competition, followed by another full day of competition on Saturday with team members competing in specific classes in the challenge, which includes showmanship, western pleasure, western horsemanship, trail, western riding, reining, hunter under saddle and hunt seat equitation.


New Zealand took out the amateur competition and the Australian riders were winners in the youth category.


New Caledonian rider Bridgette Courtot was among the competitors and took out the amateur Trail section.


“I had an unforgettable experience, both human and technical,” she said.


“I thank AQHA for organising this challenge, which represents the chance to grow. Thank you for the organisation, clinics, meals with an always smiling team, competitors always ready to help us even if my English is not very good. Thank you to our coaches and managers for their help and tenacity.”


Among the winners over the week were, in the Hunt Seat Equitation, Australia’s Charley Lalor, who won the youth section and New Zealand’s Larissa Thyne, who won the amateur section.


Australia’s Annie Boyd was the amateur Showmanship and amateur Ranch winner. Lacey Lalor won the youth Showmanship for the Australian team. The youth Hunter Under Saddle winner was Alissa Dinnage for Australia.


TOP: Rachel Turner and SVQ My Only Asset.

MIDDLE: Youth Hunter under saddle winner Alyssa Dinnage.

BOTTOM: Triandibo and Charlotte Mansley and Exceptionally Hot.


Pictures: EV LAGOON PHOTOGRAPHY



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