Forging a friendship
The life of a Brumby is wild and free, making training one a wild ride.
But Baddaginnie’s April Harvey has embraced the journey, currently participating in the Australian Brumby Challenge.
April is one of 20 trainers who has been given 150 days to train a Brumby ‘‘from wild to wonderful’’ before presenting them this month at Equitana in Melbourne — the largest horse event in the southern hemisphere.
Her horse VBA (Victorian Brumby Association) Playboy is set to be the oldest in the competition, having spent more than a decade in the wild as a stallion.
After being introduced to VBA Playboy back in June after he was passively trapped in Kosciuszko National Park, April has now been training him for the past 138 days.
As her first time training a wild horse, April said talking about the experience brings a tear to her eye.
‘‘A horse is a horse, they are all wired as horses,’’ April said.
‘‘He is so pure and has a beautiful innocence, he is a special soul.’’
Having a passion for horses and after seeing similar events in the US, April jumped at the chance to join the Brumby Challenge for this year.
‘‘Working with an older horse most people, and I, believed that they were a challenge and difficult, but this experience has made me contradict that,’’ April said.
‘‘He has such a sensible and zen nature because he has had so much time to take care of himself.
‘‘He took to me quite well in the first few days and by day five I was leading him around the farm.
‘‘In the beginning I did a lot of patting and introduced him to new items, noises and movements while in a small and contained environment.
‘‘Once he was more trusting we moved to a bigger contained area and now he can ride anywhere.’’
April will soon saddle up for the four-day competition in Melbourne, where her and VBA Play- boy will compete in a number of events, including a ridden obstacle course and dressage test.
On the last day, she will have the opportunity to participate in a freestyle event, where a choreographed routine with music and costumes will allow April to showcase her artistic side.
‘‘I am quite artistic, so to bring my two worlds of horses and art together is something I’m looking forward to,’’ she said.
Following the Equitana event, the tamed horses will go to a public auction with the money raised going back to the Victorian Brumby Association.
‘‘I also want to thank my sponsor Barastoc for their help throughout the Brumby challenge,’’ April said.
For now, April is focused on preparing VBA Playboy for the sounds and crowds anticipated at Equitana from November 15 to 18 — proving how far the ‘‘strongwilled and independent’’ mountain Brumby has come.
Stroke was played on Saturday with 48 players competing for the Monthly Medal.
The winner of A-grade and the Monthly Medal was Andrew Hodson scoring 82/15/67.
Runner-up was Gary Woodman returning 81/13/68.
In B-grade Bill Peyton was successful with a score of 88/20/68, placing Sam Little second 91/21/70.
The best scratch score went to Adrian Squires. Results: Nearest the pins. 1st Olivers Mensland: Nil. 3rd Crothers’ Joinery: Mark Henwood. 8th Srixon/Golf Shop: Terry Meagher. 12th Ray White: Russell Marshall. 13th Spalding/Golf Shop: Alan May. KFC Birdies: Andrew Hodson, Russell Marshall. Ball Competition 69 G. Smith, 71 A. Moore, C. Dube, 70 P. Hazell, 71 L. Thompson, A. Papworth, 73 M. Levy, L. Cairnes. Countback. Winners of Losers Box- K. Levy, T. Squires, J. Sharp, A. Sharp. Benalla Waste Player of the Month- David Senior. Coming events.
The November Tournament starts on Friday, November 9, with a Mixed Pinehurst event followed on Saturday with a 4BBB Stableford, while on Sunday the Mens 27/18 Hole Stroke Event will be played.
Wednesday was Stableford with 66 players. The winner of A-grade was Ross Allan returning 40 points closely followed by Rod Smith on 39.
Again a close result in B-grade with Adrian Papworth scoring 39 points with Garry Henry one shot behind on 38 points.
C-grade was taken out by Keith Wright on 39 with Graeme Ellis runner-up on countback with 34 points. Results: Nearest the pins3rd Golf Shop: David Ross. 8th Golf Shop: Brian Firth. 12th Ray White: Terry Symes. 13th Fruits ‘n’ Fare: Bill Peyton. Ball Competition 38 T. Smith, 37 G. Woodman, 36 B. Firth, M. Henwood, L. Piscioneri, 35 R. DeCrespigny , T. Kidd, A.May, R. Symes, R. Wittingslow, 34 K. Dosser, E. Hoolihan, W. Peyton, countback. of 75
Benalla Women’s golf
A stroke round was played on Thursday, November 1, with 17 players.
Division one winner was Jackie Rubira 90/18/72, while division two winner was Val Nicholas 97/27/70c/b.
Ball competition: V. Wood 70, M. Badrock 71, J. Cowan 74, E. Phillips 74.
NTP Golf Shop 13th Badrock, 14th S. Oakley.
Winner of the Monthly Medal was Val Nicholas with 70 nett on a countback.
This week a stableford will be played on Thursday and the November Tournament 4BBB stableford on Saturday. M.
Friends: April Harvey and VBA Playboy the Brumby she has trained and tamed over the last 138 days enjoying a book together. Picture: Richard Baron Films