THE decision to go ahead with Camperdown’s two-day horse trials paid dividends for organisers after the predicted deluge failed to hit the region.
Horse Trials president Nick McClelland said organisers stuck firm to running the event, happy with the turnout of riders.
“We dodged a bullet,” he said.
“The forecast said it could have been really ordinary, but we didn’t receive as much rain as was forecast.
“The weekend was a success.”
With competitors travelling from all across Victoria to compete, McClelland said organisers reasoned with the decision of some entrants to withdraw.
However, he noted that those that still came to Camperdown despite the weather predictions all fared well.
“We had a few scratchings from entrants from the other side of Melbourne,” he said.
“They would have been coming through the brunt of the storm, so them not coming was understandable.
“But those that did come, they all made it through the competition phases.”
McClelland said there were quite a few highlights from the weekend, with riders making it ‘home safely’ on a course that had a bit of moisture from the rainfall.
He said that the event took a large number of volunteers and the combined effort of those giving their time really pleased organisers.
McClelland also said that the tribute held by the South Australian riders in honour of an Olympic gold medallist was also a highlight.
“It was a massive event to run, it required a large number of volunteers with a great range of skills to run, which was a highlight for us (organisers),” he said.
“We had over 100 volunteers help with the three competition phases over the weekend, without their input the event wouldn’t run.
“The contingent of South Australian riders who wore Gillian Rolton’s colours in light of her recent passing was a fantastic tribute.”
In the 80 centimetre sections, Simon Tainsh and his ride Aussie took out the A class, whilst Vivien Tipping and her horse Silent Melody topped the B class.
Sophia Landy had a strong weekend, winning Section A with Humble Glory in the 95 centimetre category and the one star class with ESB Golden Geisha.
Jenny Bowker took out section B of the 95 centimetre category, atop Equineaffair Eclipse and Danni Hampton finished top of the 105 centimetre class riding Kalinga Nora.
Several local riders also achieved strong results, which McClelland said was a ‘highlight’ of the weekend.
With the two-day trials moving from its traditional April date to December, McClelland said feedback they had received from entrants had been positive.
The change was made by organisers to move the annual three-day event to April to attract more international level riders and avoid a clash with another international event held in Adelaide.
With entries for the three-day event set to open soon, organisers are busy readying themselves to be organised for another great event.
McClelland said that the event would run differently in 2018, with the introduction of classes for the first time.
“We’ll be running the CCI and CCN classes for the first time in the lower grades, which has never been done before,” he said.
“The longer format will be a highlight for riders in the 80 and 95 centimetre classes to ride a three-day event; they normally don’t have the opportunity to do so.
“The CCI will be run under international formats and riders will be focussing on the chance to qualify for Olympic selection in Tokyo in 2020.”
The addition of classes isn’t the only new feature set to be a part of the international event.
The Rotary Club of Camperdown is set to hold their Sunday market at the event, and food and coffee vans are also set to be prevalent across the three days.
Organisers are hopeful the event will attract more entrants to Camperdown’s showpiece weekend, with entries expected to open in late January.
“We hope to get 250 to 300 horses entered for the weekend,” McClelland said.
“It will be particularly beneficial for the two to three star classes to qualify for Olympic events and World Championships at an event that is now well placed in the calendar.”
The Lakes and Craters three-day event is set to be held from April 19 to April 22 at the Lakes Sporting Complex.
Results from December 2-3:
CNC One-Star: 1st Sophia Landy – Esb Golden Geisha, 2nd Ellyse Davis – Cassilis Park Pepper, 3rd Lincoln Spiers – Zompare.
EvA105: 1st Danni Hampton – Kalinga Nora, 2nd Simon Tainsh – Remi Lord Of The Realm, 3rd Erin Callahan – Danson Lincoln.
EvA95 Section A – 1st Sophie Landy – Humble Glory, 2nd Lauren Hussell – Super Time, 3rd Kimberly Apted – Cavallo Park Empress.
EvA95 Section B – 1st Jenny Bowker – Equineaffair Eclipse, 2nd Fiona Hawks – Kendoo 3rd Bonnie Anderson – Ibeonn Shilo.
EvA80 Section A – 1st Simon Tainsh – Aussie, 2nd Chloe Jong – Leonardos Puzzle, 3rd Nicole Harvey – Chunkyman.
EvA80 Section B – 1st Vivienne Tipping – Silent Melody, 2nd Simon Tainsh – Archie, 3rd Sophie Gerstlauer – Hugoifigo.