Fans of the Thoroughbred would have been excited to see more than 200 ex-racehorses competing at the Friends of Werribee Park Horse Trials at all levels last weekend.
It’s in contrast to Great Britain where event riders are only just discovering the Thoroughbred and are fulsome in their praise after a former racehorse bought for just over $1000 starred in the CCI4*L at the Blair Castle International Horse Trials.
At Werribee, Molly Lines’ Tadpole continued on his winning way, taking out the three star secton by 10 point s in a class that tested many of the competitors, with seven failing to finish.
In the one star Thoroughbred class, Alana Park’s Bondylicious scored a 32.5 to win, which would have placed second and third in the two open classes won by Natalie Davies on Camilla Elmare and Georgina Birrell on Terminal Velocity.
The Thoroughbreds filled two full classes in the 95cm section won by Shanae Reid on Spark Up Trouble and Kylah Brewer’s Princess Keikilani, with only two horses in the whole section not finishing.
There were just seven starters in the open four star section, with David Middleton taking first and second with WEC In The Money and WEC in The Breeze, with Sam Jeffree filling third and fourth with Koyuna Tactician and Wimborne Conjuror.
The “People On Ponies” awards are also becoming popular, with the ponies matching it with the big horses in classes. Tayla Anderson’s Le Vale East Wind led from the start to win an 80cm class and Macey Ramsbotham’s CJM Park Chloe placed in the EA 95 section won by Yona Lloyd’s Mischief Managed To Day.
The great popularity of horse trials shows that it’s not only the high flyers looking for sporting glory who participate. The chance of trying oneself out over Werribee’s beautiful fences means that a full seven sections of 80cm horses and ponies contributed to the 500 that competed last weekend.
There are riders like Chelsea Priestley with the young horse Makers Mark consolidating his education in winning a section. Busy veterinarian Stephanie Rowe won another other the classes riding her Erinlea Tatiana. Add them to the large number of ponies with ambitious youngsters and the quiet HRCAV people who don’t mind there they finish but are happy if they do, and the sport is in a good place.
Werribee Park copes well with a lot of horses and it’s just as well, as Equestrian Victoria’s Horse Trials follows quickly and the Werribee Pony Club event is straight after that.
This article appeared on The Regional on 29 August 2023.
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