April was Equestriad which, as to be expected, a record number of entries, 600 or there abouts horses! And to top that off, Shane Rose, the event director, arriving home from competing in the UK a few days before and jet plane waiting to take himself and Niki straight back to prepare for Badminton.
The main arena was surrounded by tradestands, the big screen in the corner, a couple of 2 and 3 star cross country jumps up close and personal with the VIP marquee and the A Mazing new Swamp Container Bar, setting the stage for a great Aussie weekend of Eventing.
Saturday morning dressage kicked off, merely 20 or more arenas in 3 different locations around Bicentennial Park. In the main arena where the 2 and 3 star classes did their thing was quite an atmosphere that many horses don’t get to see often, a few saw themselves on the screen as they made their way around the warm up lap, with mixed outcomes.
Whilst the big kids did a whole day of dressage the 80cm and 105cm did cross country in the afternoon, 2 arenas of show jumping, winding up a busy Saturday in preparation for the evening show jumping. 1 star took centre stage. The VIP area filled up with sponsors and hungry patrons and the Swamp Bar was just getting started. Jumping under lights is not something we do often in eventing, occasionally an indoor jaunt here and there, again some horses got the job done without too much ado. Others found it a little overwhelming, 16 clears from the 58 starters.
Sunday morning dawned, another busy day ahead. The main arena got up and running with 2 star, followed by 3 star show jumping, a good long queue for coffee, a few more needy than others after the success of the Swamp Bar. Cross country kicking off with 140 or so 60cm competitors, they just kept coming! Big horses, little kids, plenty of colours, fast ones, some a little steadier, definitely kept Chris Hopkins and myself in the Sit Tight tent out at the second water jump, on our toes for the morning. On the other side of the campdrafting area were 2 show jumping rings, ticking over all day with even longer queues than the coffee van.
After lunch, the 2 star cross country got underway, the main arena cleared of all the show jumps, the start box relocated to the other side of the bridge and the new apex and brush box located near the VIP marquee were about to be tackled. Our mate Katie Hendo took up the microphone, in position at the first water jump, main arena area. 38 2 star horses set sail, 13 horses glancing off the tough combination in the main arena, 1 doing the short walk home. Other fences scattered around the track picked up 20 penalties here and there including the stairs. Situated at the end of the track, only 2 from home, the bounce down the 3 steps was another fence that gave the class a question to answer. The 3 star class handled the main arena fences better and we saw up close what Annapurna and Gemma Tinney have going on, they looked amazing, the partnership between these girls is obvious.
And now for the awards…. “don’t give that horse any red cordial” award goes to Laura Wallace’s Van Heck for his exuberant interpretation of dressage in the 3 star.
“Baby Brain” award goes to new mum Rebecca Lindwall for getting lost on the hill in the 105cm cross country and accruing 90 time penalties!
The winners went home smiling, another outstanding event at Camden, here’s a link to the results.
Thanks to Tamworth Horse Transport supporting the Equestriad broadcast, here’s the link the website, look up their Facebook page, thanks Shar and Michael.
The 3 winners of the Tipping comp won a fab prize from Bucas, either a saddlecloth, a set of floating boots or a lovely rug, thanks Geoff and Alex. Here’s the link for all the flash stuff
Sharmayne and Michael proud owner/ operators of Tamworth Horse Transport.