Several horses and riders from Young recently competed at the Show Horse Council Australasia Grand Nationals at the Sydney Equestrian Centre in March with one local rider and one local pony winning the most coveted prizes in the country.
Tracie Wells of Young and her horse ‘Showman’ were awarded the Grand Champion Rider for 2018 after the pair won their rider class in the 30-year age division and locally owned pony Royal Oak Figurine (Liz and Rhonda Daly) was awarded Grand Champion Ridden Saddle Horse for 2018.
Tracie and Kevin as ‘Showman’ is fondly called at home went on to compete against the winning riders from the six other age divisions to bring the Grand Champion title home to Young.
“It was such an amazing feeling to claim such a prestigious award on a horse you have bought along yourself,” Tracie said.
“The atmosphere is electric and nothing you can train your horse for. You hope that when the moment comes with this type of pressure, your training and connection with your horse can pull you through.
Tracie and her beloved gelding have had a partnership going back seven-years with the local rider owning him since he was a two-year-old, so the esteemed and well-deserved win are the result of a lot of hours of hard work and dedication.
“I am so proud of Kevin who let me guide him through the event, with the most amazing outcome one could ever hope for.”
All horses and riders at the Grand Nationals had to qualify for the privilige to compete which meant that Tracie and Kevin went up against the best of the best show riders in the country and came out as the winner.
The local pair weren’t alone with Liz and Rhonda Daly’s pony Royal Oak Figurine named the Grand Champion Ridden Saddle Horse for 2018. Royal Oak Figurine competed against 25 other ponies from Australia and New Zealand in the Open Small Pony not exceeding 12.2hh class to win. Going on to compete against the winners of the open large and small hack, large and small galloway and large pony classes before they were selected as the winner of the Grand Champion award.
“It is a dream come true and makes all the hours of training and preparing our horses worthwhile,” Liz said.
Though there were others from Young who all competed at the illustrious Grand Nationals with their own achievements.
Isabel Duke Daly competed in the first ridden open pony against 17 other ponies and child’s small pony class with Royal Oak Figurine – third place in the first ridden class and finishing in the top 10 for small child’s pony, while Molly Manchester competed in the Tiny Tot Rider three-years and under six-years and was awarded the smartest on parade and Elly Sabidussi competed in girl rider 15 yrs and under 17 yrs riding Marbuck Tuqiri.