NEWS > Inter-schools
Posted by Equestrian Western Australia on 06/05/2019.

Future of Equestrian Sport Secure with Outstanding Performances at Saddles Plus Interschool Equestrian Festival 2019

160 competitors represented 51 schools in more than 650 class entries at the Saddles Plus Interschool Equestrian Festival and Combined Training Championship held at the State Equestrian Centre in the last week of April 2019. The event is a highlight of the year for many school-age equestrian competitors with classes in jumping, combined training, show horse and dressage offered for both competitive and participant EA riders. The opportunity to be invited to represent Western Australia later in the year at the Australian Interschool Championships lures competitors from all over the state with strong contenders from regional areas such as the Great Southern, South West of WA and Geraldton all sending teams of competitors to the event along with usual strong local contenders Swan Christian College and Court Grammar.

2019 saw a differently formatted event with the Saddles Plus Combined Training Championship held on Wednesday 24 of April offering Interschool and Open classes for the first time in its history with 107 horses competing from CT1* to CT45. Due to the expansion of the dressage program and public holidays, the event was held as a standalone event before ANZAC day and provided many competitors with a good “warm-up” opportunity in dressage and jumping phases before the Saddles Plus Interschool Festival hosting dressage, jumping and show horse classes between Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April 2019.

 The overwhelming comment from officials of all disciplines at the event was the quality and competency of the competitors who showed outstanding sportsmanship and horsemanship to achieve very good results from Primary level right through to Senior Secondary Classes. Another new initiative courtesy of Nominate was the use of electronic dressage scoring enabling riders to receive their dressage test via the inbox – a popular initiative that saved paper, time and scoring hours!

Swan Christian competitor Chelsea De Jonge performed consistently at Medium and Advanced scoring between 68%-70% with Savio H in her four tests to win both the Advanced and Medium Secondary Championships. Chelsea was also successful in the Show Horse section of the event winning the overall Secondary Show Hunter Championship with Savio H. The show horse section of the event was held on Friday 26 of April hosting experienced show horse judges Valrie Mayger, Robyn Vale and Dianne Bennit in Ridden, Rider and Led phases. 103 horse/rider combinations were judged on this day with the largest class being the Senior Secondary Working Hunter event. The eventual winner was Jacynta Morely riding Judaroo Espionage representing Byford Secondary College accrued 81.5 points across the three phases winning on a countback from Emily Anderson and Brohedydd Jack Sparrow IMP representing Court Grammar.

Saturday evening spectators enjoyed an exciting evening of entertainment at the Saddles Plus All-Star Challenge. Inspiring rides from World Cup jumper Caitlin Bolger, FEI5* competitor Tegan Lush, FEI Dressage competitor Elizabeth Tollarzo and Australian Show Horse competitor Christine Lambert were well received and the horsemanship demonstrated by each rider swapping disciplines was outstanding.

Sunday saw the culmination of the championship jumping classes in the PETStock Bio John C Quest Arena. Izabelle Dobson demonstrated outstanding consistency throughout the event and was the eventual 120cm Championship winner with her horse Smiling Assassin.

The success of this event would not be possible without the outstanding support of its sponsors. The Saddles Plus Presidents Lawn offered a variety of shopping and food opportunities and new café at the State Equestrian Centre Mamalilli were well received by riders and officials alike! New sponsors North City Holden offered fantastic vehicles for the dressage judges as well as an interactive display on the Saddles Plus Presidents Lawn throughout the event and Careers in Racing mechanical horse was a popular attraction for young and old!

An event of this magnitude would not happen without the professional dedication shown by the officials and volunteers behind the event. Each day hosted 20-50 officials and volunteers lead by the Interschool WA Working Party who allocated countless hours checking entries, assisting officials, booking and managing volunteers, ordering and arranging ribbons, obtaining sponsorship and many, many other tasks that require the event to happen.


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