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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Victoria wins national title at interschools extravaganza

Updated: Oct 4, 2023


ABOVE: Riding for the win Victorian Georgie Constable and Highland Dancer. Picture: DEREK O’LEARY

THE massive exercise that is the Australian Interschools Championships is over for another year with a new national champion declared.


Victoria has taken the Harry le Bherz Perpetual Trophy for 2023, followed by NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.


The top point scorer for Victoria was Zara Adnams riding Dingmac Disco King, for NSW Jasmine Cook and Sherbet Wizz Fizz, for Queensland Hayley Wall and Black Layce, for South Australia Ella Manning and Oaks Be Sweet, WA Leah Sorensen and Beachgoer, for Tasmania Chloe Daun and PEC Rambling Rose and the NT Layne Martin and Valiant Star.


More than 700 school-based competitors – plus a huge contingent of family, friends and barracking supporters from right around the country – filled Werribee Park in Victoria for five days for the competition this week.


The riders, who had qualified to compete at state championships, were aged five to 18 years old, to compete in showing, dressage showjumping, combined training and eventing.


With so many competitors competing across so many disciplines, the scorers at this event would have to have one of the toughest jobs going.


Scoring is layered across age groups and within the disciplines, with prizes from first to sixth place awarded for each competition in each class.


Individual champions are determined from the points they receive in each class then the champion state team – that takes home the Harry le Bherz Perpetual Trophy – is awarded to the state with the highest accumulated individual rider points across dressage, eventing, combined training, show horse and show jumping.


THE EVENT IN PICTURES

(Click any image to expand gallery - 43 images)

Images: MANE MEMORIES, DEREK O'LEARY, EQUISOUL and ONE-EYED FROG


The smallest team in at the championships, the Northern Territory, had the longest trip, but did really well despite their size.


“Our season is shorter because of the climate, but it’s wonderful for our team to be here,” Ilana Eldridge, whose daughter Lalwa May is the team’s captain.


“It’s a learning experience as well so they find out how things are done at such a big event.”

Lalwa joined with Bridie McKenna (vice captain), Maya Purdon, Georgia Dennis, Layne Martin and Bailey Howie to represent the NT.


All had pool horses that the riders became very attached to while competing and had trouble saying goodbye.


TEAM NORTHERN TERRITORY

(Click any image to expand gallery)

All images ONE-EYED FROG PHOTOGRAPHY


And while the Australian Interschools Championships are a serious event, organisers made sure there was plenty to keep the riders and thier families entertained when they were not competing.


Fun elements included scavenger hunts, karaoke, quiz nights and even dog jumping, at which the South Australians starred.


DOG JUMPING

(Click any image to expand gallery)

All images EQUISOUL PHOTOGRAPHY





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