The Swan Valley Horse and Pony Club Hunter Trials were held on the June long weekend this year. Hunter trials are a sport that originated in the UK, where riders on horseback compete either as pairs or individuals and tackle a cross country course of various fences in a numbered order. It is a timed event with the rider closest to the optimum time the winner.
The Swan Valley Hunter Trials have been running since 2010, when Life Member Sue Smith ran the first one to raise much needed funds to help the Club. Since then, the Hunter Trials have been held bi-annually. Funds raised have enabled the Swan Valley Horse and Pony Club to buy new equipment, upgrade electricity, build a new clubhouse kitchen and purchase lazer pistols for Pony Club members to practice for Tetrathlon competitons. Importantly and in addition, funds raised from the Hunter Trials are used to enable Swan Valley Club members to benefit from more expensive subsidised coaching at each Pony Club rally during the year, without increasing annual membership fees.
This year’s event, which was held at the State Equestrian Centre purpose built cross country course in Brigadoon, saw around 100 riders tackle two rounds of the lovely cross country course with fences including a gate to open and shut and a water jump. Riders were able to compete at different heights, depending on the level of experience of each horse and rider combination.
Talented Western Australian eventing rider Jessamy Walsh had a successful day campaigning her two lovely young horses at the 80cm level, for a first, second, third and fifth placing over two rounds. She is pictured jumping Tulara Piano Man over a roll top fence in the 80cm section.
It was an excellent opportunity for young Swan Valley Horse and Pony Club members Jack and Lily Bennett, Dillian Moores, Noah Woodyer and Ashley Cowie to tackle the 45cm course for the first time, and they all thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to complete two rounds. Club members Lauren Bassola, Charlotte Ayre and Leah Gardiner were winners on the day also.
Swan Valley Horse and Pony Club would like to thank all the sponsors that helped make the June Hunter Trials such a successful fundraising day for the club, including Northern Valleys News.