Forg­ing a friend­ship

Benalla Ensign - - Motorsport - By Ge­or­gia Smith

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

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