HIGHER rider numbers have helped make the latest edition of the Northern Park Lakes and Craters International Horse Trials a success.
The three day event wrapped up on Monday and president and event director Troy Best said close to 250 riders competed across the dressage, cross country and showjumping phases.
“Overall the event has run extremely well,” he said.
“Our numbers are up by 50 to 60 riders which is excellent and it’s up from 170 from last year which is good and hopefully we can build it up to 320 next year.
“The course has been well received which is great and everything has run smoothly for the riders which is the main thing.”
With classes ranging from Eva 80 to four star level, Best said the event attracted a variety of competitors.
“The lower levels were really strong as per usual and the higher levels are usually small,” he said.
“But we got a good array of riders instead of just riders with a number of horses.”
Committee member Barry Roycroft said riders from New South Wales and South Australia competed, while international officials oversaw proceedings.
“There were a lot of good performance in a lot of classes,” he said.
“We’ve had winners in all classes and they were all up to standard and were all deserving winners.
“And two of the classes this year had riders who were attempting to qualify for a higher level and one succeeded and one didn’t.”
One of the event’s highlights Best said was having Olympian Amanda Ross on course.
He said despite coming off her horse, she ended the event with the attainment of her own personal goal.
“She sadly didn’t make it around the course, she had a fall, but she was announced as a Trans Tasman team rider while she was here,” he said.
“So to have a rider of that calibre (at our event) was great.”
Changing the days of competition to Saturday, Sunday and Monday also achieved its desired effect, with the president revealing the new days had been well received by the competing fraternity.
“For the short format it’s been great because riders have been able to leave work on a Friday afternoon and then compete and return on the weekend back for work on Monday,” Best said.
“That’s had a great effect and whether it’s had an effect to the long format (I’m not sure) but I don’t think it has.
“It’s been great for the short format to have it all done on the weekend.”
Eventing aside, Best said the blessing of the horse ceremony on Saturday was also “very well received” with 40 horses blessed by Father Matthew Crane.
The ceremony was the brainchild of new committeeman and course doctor Andrew Crompton, who came across the practice at the Siena Palio in Italy.
With the dust finally settled on the event, Roycroft thanked the volunteers for their efforts in the lead-up to and across the weekend and also thanked the Camperdown Cricket Club for their support.
He said it was also great to see a good turn-out of locals watching the cross country competition on Sunday.
“We’re appreciative of all our volunteers,” he said.
“These events don’t happen without them and we’re also appreciative of the cricket club who ran our barbecue on Saturday night for us.
“And we had a few locals up yesterday (Sunday) so it was nice to see our town folk at our event.”
The committee is set to debrief the event in the coming weeks, with the 2020 staging likely to be run on similar dates.
CCI Four Star Long: Laura Wallace – Van Heck;
CCI Four Star Short: Sophia Landy – Humble Glory;
CCI Three Star Long: Simon Tainsh – Punching In A Dream;
CCI Three Star Short: Sophie Doake – Grandjany;
CCI Two Star Long: Christina Grear – Roger That;
CCI Two Star: Andrew Cooper – WG Orlando;
CCN One Star Long: Natasha Hickling – Super Freak;
CCN Junior One Star Long: Sophie Bennett – Bvlgari;
CCN One Star: Amy Ghotts – Wheeler Sharvalley Thunder;
EvA 95 Section A: Maureen McGrath – Yarramee Bam Bam;
EvA 95 Section B: Natalie Peacock – Calypso Melody;
EvA 95 Interschools: Tansy Sugar – KS SnapChat;
EvA 80 Section A: Alyssa Calaby – Captura;
EvA 80 Section B: Bianca Dimovski – Galliard;
EvA 80 Interschools: Chloe Brooks – Snowy River Masterpiece.