Grand show marks 50th

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

The North­ern Vic­to­rian Show Jump­ing Club will be cel­e­brat­ing its 50th an­niver­sary with a grand prix show run­ning from Novem­ber 11 to 13.

The event, at WB Hunter Re­serve, Shep­par­ton, will host some of the best show jump­ing rid­ers in Aus­tralia, some who have also com­peted at an in­ter­na­tional level and the Olympics.

2016 World Cup win­ner Stu­art Jenk­ins, from Glen­mor­gan Vale, Queens­land, will be re­turn­ing to de­fend his ti­tle, and trav­el­ling down from Cooran, Queens­land, is Billy Ray­mont, with an in­form team of horses.

Syd­ney 2000 Olympic com­peti­tors Jamie Co­man, based near Sey­mour, and Jeff Bloom­field, South Aus­tralia, are bring­ing a team of up-and-com­ing horses each, while rid­ers will also travel from Tas­ma­nia, NSW and South Aus­tralia.

Lo­cal rid­ers Stu­art and In­grid Abra­hams will also bring a team of horses and their Sad­dle­world Shep­par­ton and Bendigo stores are a ma­jor spon­sor of this year’s event.

Life Mem­bers Ken Felm­ing­ham and Rus­sell and Brad Hearn will all be com­pet­ing at the show.

The week­end will also in­clude a mar­quee and cel­e­bra­tion of the club’s half cen­tury, with his­tory and mem­o­ra­bilia in­cluded.

Past event sec­re­tary and trea­surer Keren Fletcher re­calls the early days when the en­tries were all done man­u­ally by post and draws writ­ten by hand.

‘‘We used to get about 70 rid­ers to the train­ing days at WB Hunter Re­serve, it was a re­ally great so­cial com­mu­nity,’’ Ms Fletcher said, rem­i­nisc­ing about the train­ing days held.

‘‘At the end of the day, we would use any bro­ken rails to make a bon­fire and all have a beer to­gether.’’

Ms Fletcher also re­mem­bers the World Cup Shows at Shep­par­ton, which had some of the big­gest, if not the big­gest, en­tries of all World Cup Shows in Aus­tralia at the time.

Orig­i­nal club mem­ber, past vice-pres­i­dent and pres­i­dent David Quick re­calls the club’s ori­gins.

‘‘The club was orig­i­nally formed at Tatura. When they moved to Shep­par­ton, we were lo­cated where the ten­nis courts are at the Sports Precinct. How­ever, with­out any fenc­ing, it was deemed too dan­ger­ous.

‘‘The club then moved to the cen­tre of the velo­drome be­fore set­tling at the cur­rent lo­ca­tion,’’ he said.

‘‘The first show at the ground was that hard we had to run a plough and discs over the ground, it was so dusty no-one could breathe.

‘‘To­day the club mem­bers en­joy a top-class grass arena, which the World Cup class is run on, a small grass arena and two sand are­nas.’’

Clear­ing all hur­dles . . . John Ledger, from Wan­garatta, rides Nobby. Some of the best show jump­ing rid­ers in Aus­tralia will com­pete at the grand prix event in Shep­par­ton.

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