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Posted by Sharon Welsh on 19/10/2017.

Marcus Oldham Australian Interschool Championships Wrap-Up

Our WA Team of 32 talented riders headed to Toowoomba to partake in the Australian Championships against the best in each state. Only 2 eventing riders from WA being Teagan Hammer and Georgia O’Meara travelled over with both their horses. Teagan and family made the tedious effort of driving while the O’Meara family utilised Ramseys horse transport with their horse and followed over by plane.

Our first week before the competition was getting to know your pool horse and site seeing around the area of Brisbane. Most of the team managed to meet up together at the Australian Outback Spectacular watching an awesome show of the “A Salute to the Light Horse”. Other days the team met up at Movie World, Mt Coo-tha and the Koala Retreat.

The week of the event the weather was very challenging and the horses were trying their best for what was ahead of them. Our jumping team were in fine form with each rider taking up the challenge of jumping wonderfully coloured fences on a pool horse they didn’t know for very long. This is a huge task to take on not knowing your horse for that long and what buttons to push. Unfortunately one of our riders and her pool horse came to grief in her second round when her horse lost its footing and slipped right down in front of us all, they ended up riding again the next day to placing 11th overall, both horse and rider were OK, and another one of our riders also nearly came to grief in the same spot but luckily managed to recover for a clear round.

Our dressage riders were all amazing tackling the heat in their full riding attire and the horses all partaking in their test workouts. Our team was very lucky to have been given amazing horses to loan. The team’s results proved that we have an amazing array of talented riders being able to adapt to getting to know your pool horse in such a short time to be able to pull off great scores in each discipline. Unfortunately for one of our riders they weren’t able to finish their journey due to their combination not working out but they proved to be a great team member being there for the rest of the team. Hopefully next year they will have the opportunity to have another chance to compete for the state.

The winds checked in late most afternoons that were quite strong making our horses very jumping as there was sand, dust, rubbish flying everywhere with even the big windmill on the hill creaking away for which the event organisers had to stop. Our ceremony areas had all blown over so everything had to be moved into the riders retreat for the rest of the event. The riders retreat was a great area to rest up from a hectic day with light refreshing drinks on hand and a big screen TV for each night’s entertainment.

The event dinner was set out in the riders retreat marquee with a huge buffet of foods to choose from. Every rider celebrating their friendships with other teams sharing their experiences and sharing chants between each team. With the winds really blowing and the temperature ended up being freezing catching a lot of us off guard with no jumpers/jackets ended our event dinner early as everyone wanted to get back their hotel rooms to get warm.

The eventing course was adorned with colourful flowers with lots of red dust and dirt. A sea of black and yellow minutes apart from one another of our 2 eventers looked amazing out on the cross country course with some of the team waiting at the finish line cheering on our team. My job was for the first time helping to cool down the horses after their XC jump.  What an eye-opener for a beginner so I decided to hold onto the horse while the rest of the team placed ice in buckets with water to cool their hooves down from the hard ground.

The final day of presentations took place outside on the grandstand of the main pavilion where the opening ceremony began. All teams paraded in together with an array of many colours showcasing their state uniforms with pride. Our team looked amazing in their new shirts and our theme was “WA on Fire” and yes we certainly were with the results the team collected.

Final state results:

  • TAS 145
  • NT 220
  • SA 568
  • WA 981
  • VIC 2197
  • NSW 2613
  • QLD 2743


Thanks to IC Queensland and EQ Queensland for hosting the event this year. So many riders met new families and made many friends. Cindy Croggin thank you for organising the pool horses this is not an easy job and nearly every rider had the perfect combination.

Many thank you’s are to be mentioned:

Saddles Plus for being the teams sponsor this year. The saddlecloths again looked amazing and the shirts few fantastic.

Team Captain Taylah Welsh and Vice-Captain Kjersti Grov thank you for your support of keeping the team entertained and supported. This being your final year at Interschool Competitions is very sad and you will be missed by all. We hope you will still be on the sidelines helping the riders next year.

To all the parents thank you for all your support and understanding and for the fun times we had.

Katrina Lodge thank you for donating the sunscreen it was greatly received with all the hot weather we had kept us protected throughout the competition.

Tanya Appleby thank you for sending the team schedule out each day this helped greatly for the team.

Thanks also goes to Brenda Duddy, and Hayley Grov having you there sharing ideas and suggestions helped tremendously and also a shoulder to lean on when needed.

Thank you to our team coaches Amanda Pritchard and Bettina Broekman. You were always there for the team and giving valuable advice to our riders for their classes.

Thank you to all the Dads out there for keeping most parents refreshed with beverages at the end of a hard day.

On closing, I would like to personally thank each and every one of you all for the support and encouragement you have given me for another year. This has been an amazing journey for the 4th year in a row and hopefully many more to come.

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