Upgrade a boost for stock horses
THIS WEEKEND the Far North Coast (NSW) Branch of The Australian Stock Horse Society branch hold its Annual Branch Show and Futurities at Hawthorne Park, South Grafton.
This is one of the larger branches in the society and runs from Tweed Heads to Bonville across to Ebor and west to Woodenbong, and its committee along with many generous sponsors have been able to put together an excellent program for the weekend.
This year the show has been upgraded to a Championship Show which has attracted competitors from as far north as Crows Nest in Queensland, south to Taree and west to Manilla in NSW.
A top quality field of 150 horses have entered, including several who will be going on to compete at Sydney Royal the following weekend.
Paul Vary from Tabulam on River View Snowy, a past National Champion Working Stock Horse and the winner of the 2004 Warwick Gold Cup will be here competing in the Super Horse Challenge to try and gain this title again as they were the inaugural winners of this event in 2004.
Competition over the two days will be very strong as they ride for more than $6000 in prizemoney plus trophies, embroidered rugs, equine merchandise and horse feed ? all of which helps to make it worthwhile for many of these competitors to travel long distances with their family as there is an event for everyone, even to the youngest on a lead line going through their paces.
Spectators will have the opportunity to see competitors showing the versatility of their horses in a variety of disciplines including led, hacking, working, two-handed cutting, campdrafting, utility and time trial events.
Saturday will get underway at 8am with the junior judging for the youth members with their ages ranging from 8 years to 2l years.
It is a great experience for them as the winner of this event is eligible to compete in the finals at Sydney Royal Show in 2006.
Saturday's program will also include yearling, 2-year-old and 3-year-old futurities, 4-yearold maturity, youth challenges, super horse challenge, hack challenge, station horse and barrel races.
Sunday also commences at 8am with a full show program of led, hacking and working events for both youth and adult competitors.
Ray Hynes, from the national head office in Scone will officially open the show and will also take the opportunity to meet members and give them an an insight into the exporting of the Australian stock horse.
This is just getting off the ground with our horses already being exported to England, Ire- land for polo and polocrosse, USA for cattle work.
With the Olympics in Beijing, host country China has already commenced their need for more equestrian involvement throughout their country and have sent delegates to Australia to learn as much as they can on the many facets of equestrian sports.
Everyone is most welcome to come along, admission is free and there will be canteen fa- cilities.