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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Wandin Horse Trials attracts biggest crowd since 1990s

ABOVE: Natalie Davies and Camilla Elmare on their way to a win. Picture: DEREK O’LEARY

IT’S impossible to say anything uncomplimentary about the magnificent Wandin Park International Horse Trials.

Run in a magnificent setting at Gruyere with classes from CCI4* to EvA65 since 1981, the winners list includes names like Andrew Hoy, Captain Mark Phillips and Amanda Ross, yet the event still manages to cope with the happy “give-it-a-try” riders that this year made up almost half of its 700 competitors.

Organisers were delighted with the attention the horse trials  attracted, with thousands of spectators attending over the weekend making it the biggest crowd seen at Wandin Park since the 1990s.

The off-the-track (OTT) people were thrilled that 40 per cent of the horses entered were former racehorses and even more so that Molly Lines, 19, and the consistent OTT named Tadpole won the main class, the four-star.

Tadpole was no great shakes as a racehorse. First trained in South Australia and named Liquid Courage by Michael Hickmott, he moved to the Mornington Peninsula stables of Yargi Racing, where top-class showjumper Amy Yargi, formerly Amy Johnson, gave him a new home after only two unsuccessful starts.

After some training with showjumping coach Hayley Coman he went to Molly and the pair are proving themselves at top level. They won the class by 12 points from Samantha Cesnik on Graftango and David Middleton’s WEC In the Money.


In the three-star, Sophia Hill and Seattle Park led a class filled with the who’s who of the eventing world to win from Hamish Cargill on Delise, with Yona Lloyd third with Ballahowe Ayurvedic.

The two-star was divided with one section especially for Thoroughbred horses won by Jennifer Duffy’s Notre Amour and the open section going to Natalie Davies’ Camilla Elmare.

ABOVE: Sophia Hill in the three-star. Picture: DEREK O’LEARY
ABOVE: Murray Lamperd tackles the one-star on Full Fathom Five. Picture: DEREK O’LEARY
ABOVE: Prudence Robinson and Kenlock Super Davina in the one-star. Picture: DEREK O’LEARY

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