BARRABA’S Amelia Tonkin has claimed the 2012 Australian Open Cutting Championship Non Pro title in front of a huge crowd at Equitana in Melbourne.
Equitana is the largest equine exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere and Tonkin, riding Tramps Destiny, took out the Non Pro title at Melbourne Showgrounds ahead of a hotly contested field.
The Open title was won by Scott Campbell of Table Top on Highbrows Scarlett.
“Everything went just as I had imagined and hoped it would,” Tonkin said.
“The cattle were really good. I got to ‘cut’ my first three choices, even being the fifth rider out.” .
Tonkin finished two points ahead of Somerton’s Tracey McClurg riding Tassas Stormy Rose while in equal third place was Sidney Myer of Melbourne riding Jacks Envy Oak and Greg Rotheram of Nar Nar Goon riding Dixies Little Chic.
Tonkin and Tramps Destiny have had an outstanding year in the Open Non Pro ranks claiming victory at the Sydney Royal Cutting Championships and securing equal second place at the Victorian Futurity.
“Today’s win is definitely up there with the Sydney Royal and Victorian Futurity events, all being big events,” Tonkin said.
“Tramps Destiny is one of the best horses I’ve ever had. I’m very lucky to be able to ride a horse like him.”
Tonkin has also tasted success this year at the Q12 World Down Under event and the Victorian Futurity in the Non Pro Classic Challenge riding QXH Miss Stylish Oak.
“Equitana has been a great show and everything went smoothly. I definitely hope to come back again next year,” she said.
Competition was tight in the Open division with Campbell edging out Glen Innes’ Rob Hodgman on Stylish CD and Kaarimba’s Aaron Wheatley on Erin Flashy Rey by one, and one a half points respectively to claim the title.
The Australian Open Cutting Championships is one of the major events on the cutting horse calendar with more than 30 riders from across Australia vying for a combined prize pool of $60,000.
Riders qualified for the event through a series of events that took place across Australia over the past eight months with the top 15 point scorers in the Open and the Open Non Pro categories invited to compete at
About 60,000 visitors are expected to attend Equitana which brings together hundreds of horses, champion and riders.