HORSE riding enthusiasts from all corners of the state converged at the Tasmanian Equestrian Centre (TEC) at Lauderdale recently to compete across two days in the State Eventing Championships.
The event is the culmination of Tasmania’s eventing season, with more than 80 riders and 100 horses fighting it out for championship honours.
Eventing is an equestrian event that is comprised of dressage, cross-country and show-jumping, and is one of the few Olympic sports where females and males compete against each other equally.
Tasmanian Eventing Association president Narelle Rowlandson said there was a strong field of competitors this year.
This included state eventing squad members Georga and Olivia Brennan, George Grover, Sascha Stevens and Esther Cantwell.
“Riders wanting to gain more experience will need strong results in Tasmania to enable them to qualify for events on the mainland,” she said.
Eleven-year-old rider Chloe Daun also competed with the aim of qualifying for the Equestrian Australia interschools team that will compete in New South Wales in October.
Chloe competed against riders twice her age, placing first in the EvA80 junior class on her pony PEC Barindale Grandeur and second in the EvA95 junior class on her pony PEC Popping Candy.
The age of riders ranged from Billy Wilson as the youngest competitor at nine years old to 58-year-old Carole Coates as the oldest.
“It’s fun and enjoyable and you can have goals,” Billy said.
Southern Tasmania Eventing Association training coordinator Elli Portlock said there was a lot of effort put into organising the event in terms of getting qualified designers, technical delegates and judges, stewards, course controllers, marshallers and gear checkers.
“The course, designed by local course designer Leon Hunn, looked superb and the event ran very smoothly,” she said.
“Leon was awarded a lifetime membership in appreciation of the many hours of voluntary work he had put into managing the TEC cross country course and ensuring it was maintained at a high standard.”
Anyone who is interested in horse riding is encouraged to join one of the two established pony clubs on the Eastern Shore.
For more information, visit the Southern Tasmanian Eventing Association Facebook Page.
Caption: Sascha Stevens riding Sahara Sun at the State Eventing Championships at the Tasmanian Equestrian Centre in Lauderdale. Photo credit: Janine White.