Top WA riders to compete in event
TOP riders from across the State will converge on Harvey on April 14 for the South West Horse Trials, competing across dressage, showjumping and cross country.
Run for the past 35 years, event secretary Rachael Andrews said the trials were a nationally ranking event.
The competition will see 180 of the top horses and riders from as far as Albany and Esperance including former Olympian Sonja Johnson compete.
“We have big riders competing,” Ms Andrews said.
The dressage begins on Saturday from 8am with showjumping to start in the afternoon and continuing on Sunday with the cross country event.
Saturday night is always fun Ms Andrews said, with fun games played out by riders and volunteers in a lit up arena.
Ms Andrews said the event would not be able to go ahead without volunteers, with riders all providing a helper or helping themselves as part of their entry.
“As part of your entry you are required to provide a helper,” she said.
“We couldn’t run the event without the helpers.”
Ms Andrews said it was essential to have so many vol- unteering as things like the cross country, which has 30 jumps, requires an observer recording the rider as they clear it.
Ms Andrews said the cross country just north of Harvey was always challenging for the riders as the hilly terrain added a new level of technicality to the jumps.
“The location is great, we have plenty of space and I think having it on the hill is great,” she said.
“The undulating terrain can make it difficult for hors- es and riders to negotiate the jumps.” It was a long-term goal of the committee, Ms Andrews said, to grow the event into an internationally ranked event, however that is still a couple years off.
“It just would, at the moment, be too much legwork for our committee,” she said.
With the event on Saturday, Ms Andrews said the event was all coming together with the course brought up to competition standard and entries closed.
Tayah Andrew competes in the showjumping at last year's event.
Michael Dagostino sails over a jump in last year's cross country.
Laurelle Hayes on Nukku Park Royal Diamond at the trials in 2015.