Horsing around

The Tatura Guardian - - Front Page - By Thomas Moir

Ara­bian horses are known to di­vide crit­ics, with many firmly in ei­ther the love them or hate them camps. Oliver Walker, 4, was un­sure which side of the fence he stood on when he and mum Deanne Walker got up close to one at the GV Ara­bian Horse Club Muster and Cham­pi­onships at Tatura Park at the week­end.

Horses well-known for their feisty tem­per­a­ment and all-round ap­peal bat­tled it out in Tatura at the week­end at a long-run­ning re­gional muster.

Tatura Park was over­run by four­legged vis­i­tors for the GV Ara­bian Horse ClubMuster and Cham­pi­onships.

Com­pe­ti­tion was held across two days, with awards pre­sented on Sun­day.

Show or­gan­iser Amy Blades had a busy two days watch­ing as rid­ers com­peted in front of cir­cling judges.

She said Ara­bian horses were much-loved for their ver­sa­til­ity.

‘‘They’re such a ver­sa­tile breed,’’ she said.

‘‘They’re not only show horses, you can take them out in dres­sage, jump­ing, en­durance.’’

But Ms Blades stressed not ev­ery­one was so en­am­oured with the breed, adding it was com­mon for many to ei­ther ‘‘love them or hate them’’.

The or­gan­iser firmly placed her­self in the for­mer cat­e­gory.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple love the breed, oth­ers don’t,’’ she said.

‘‘Their own­ers love them to bits.’’

Af­ter an ex­haust­ing week­end, Ms Blades was pleased with the event.

She said ef­forts were be­ing­made to en­sure the gen­eral pub­lic went along to en­joy the event as spec­ta­tors.

‘‘We’re try­ing to get peo­ple to come and watch,’’ she said.

‘‘Our over­all plan is next year we would like to put an open ring on, like with your ag shows.’’

Syd­ney-based show judge Robyn Rogers said she was pleased with the stan­dard set over the week­end at what she graded a ‘‘re­ally good show.’’

‘‘There’s been some re­ally good qual­ity horses,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s awe­some for us judges. ‘‘The com­peti­tors have all been awe­some.’’

Ms Rogers said com­pe­ti­tion horses at the show were typ­i­cally judged on qual­ity, type and con­fir­ma­tion, as well as ap­pear­ance.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing about the horse is judged, it’s not just how pretty they look,’’ she said.

‘‘You fol­low a stan­dard of ex­cel­lence, that’s what we go by.’’

She said un­der­stand­ing they were an­i­mals, and mis­takes were al­ways go­ing to be made, was im­por­tant.

‘‘They are horses, they have their own brain,’’ she said.

Ms Rogers said the unique fea­tures of an Ara­bian horse in­cluded their tem­per­a­ment and fine skin and, more gen­er­ally, the way they car­ried them­selves.

She said wet weather was a fac­tor at the week­end, with some horses both­ered by the slip­pery sur­face.

Ms Rogers looks for­ward to more in­ter­est be­ing shown in Ara­bian horse com­pe­ti­tion in the fu­ture.

‘‘We would like to see a lot more peo­ple get­ting in­volved,’’ she said.

Pic­ture: Ray Sizer

Com­pe­ti­tion: Casey Gill is judged with Jack­son Star at the GV Ara­bian Horse Club Muster and Cham­pi­onships.

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