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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Victorians come together to celebrate year's achievements

ABOVE: Eventers Laura Hercules, Edward Darby and Georgia Tivendale. Picture: KATY LYLAK

ALL ages mixed happily at Equestrian Victoria’s annual awards on Saturday night as the previous year’s outstanding contributions and achievements within Victorian equestrian sport were recognised.

While it’s the time of year when the state’s horse fraternity comes together to celebrate achievements of the year across all ages and disciplines, it’s also a rare chance to frock up and dance without having to run off and feed horses.

There’s quite an age division at the event, with those inducted into the Hall of Fame and given lifetime service awards being generally older and revel in the “remember when” chats going on around their tables. The rider of the year winners are a younger and livelier set, so it’s good to see them mingle. Equestrian Victoria chief executive Amy Slayter said the organisation was pleased to be able to showcase equestrian talent in this way.

ABOVE: Dianne Barnes just back from the World Championships and para rider of the year Maddison Cooke. Picture: KATY LYLAK

“It is a true pleasure seeing both the young and the not-so-young share in a common passion that unites us as a community,” she said.

There were two new inductees to the Hall of Fame this year – Graeme Barker and Stan Fear.

This honour is awarded in recognition of “outstanding and extraordinary dedication and achievements of individuals or organisations that have contributed to the Victorian equestrian sector over a number of years”.

Both men have certainly done that.

The Lifetime Service to Sport awards won by Alf Parsons, Anne Marie Greenway and Peter Gardiner recognise members of the horse community who have contributed to the sport, not necessarily as riders or owners, but as the ones that keep the wheels turning, like time keepers, judges, announcers, fence builder and starters, without which the sport simply doesn’t run. The young riders are a talented and well-mannered group. Previous winners have gone on to become come Olympians and World Championship competitors and the individuals who featured this year are keen to follow in their footsteps.

This year’s winners were:

Horse of the year (Eventing): Woodmount Lolita

Horse of the year (Jumping): Denison Park Spartava

Horse of the year (Show Horse) St Andrews

Horse of the year (Dressage) Captain Cooks

Rider of the year (Eventing) Sam Jeffree

Rider of the year (Jumping) Andrew Lamb

Rider of the year (Show Horse) Abby Heffer

Rider of the year (Dressage) Pauline Carnovale

Rider of the year (Amateur owner-rider) Emma Turnbull

Young rider of the year (Eventing) Edward Darby

Young rider of the year (Jumping) Hayden Parker

Young rider of the year (Show Horse): Jessica Sharp

Young rider of the year (Dressage): Jessica Dertell

Carriage driver of the year: Andrew Damsma

Young ambassador of the year (Eventing): Briony Deeker-Fradd

Young ambassador of the year (Jumping): Arienne Holdsworth-Rose

Young ambassador of the year (Show Horse): Stella Paterson

Young ambassador of the year (Dressage): Ileena Neilson

Para equestrian athlete of the year: Maddison Cooke

The 2022 off-the-track category featuring retrained, ex-Thoroughbred race horses will be announced in early October.


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