FORGET the Rugby League State of Origin – the Tamworth Tentpegging Club did NSW proud in the Queensland Championships recently.
The usual winter pilgrimage north for the state titles held in Caboolture saw competitors from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland take part in the variety of horse and rider tests of skill and agility using ancient weapons such as the lance and sword.
The Tamworth club has regularly fielded teams at competitions across the country for more than 20 years and last year took out the NSW titles, with both an A grade and a B grade-winning team.
This year they confidently sent just one team of four riders to the Queensland titles.
Club stalwart and team captain Barry Biffin has tasted plenty of success on the national and international stage.
Having returned from representing Australia at the World Cup in India earlier this year, he led the Tamworth team to second place at the Royal Easter Show in March by winning the highest scoring individual competitor for the event.
“It’s been a highlight year for Tamworth Tentpegging,” Biffin said, “and the Queensland title has made it all the sweeter”.
Tamworth sent A grade riders Biffin and son in law Bryson Roser along with C grade riders and relative newcomers to the sport, Todd Carey and Amery Thompson, to combat the strong contingent of riders in Queensland.
Competing initially as a pairs combination, Carey and Thompson took out second place in the pair of lances and a well deserved first in the pairs of swords, with Carey showing his class and flagging a move up the gradings by taking out the best scoring individual C grade rider.
Meanwhile the Biffin and Roser pairs combination was making every post a winner, taking out first in the pair of lances A grade competition and, after an exciting stage of two run-offs to decide the winner, added the A Grade pair of swords trophy to the cabinet.
As a combined team of four, the riders competed for the B grade trophy and took all before them, becoming the Champion B Grade Team across the lance and sword competitions over the two days.
Roser, a skilled young horseman previously competing in the eventing ranks, then went on to make the trip very worthwhile when he took out the highest scoring rider over the two days of competition.
“Just as well he listens,” Biffin said. “I taught him everything he knows.”
If you would like to learn more about tentpegging, the Tamworth club is holding a come and try day this Sunday (August 25), between 9.30am and 3.30pm at AELEC, Tamworth.
You can learn more by calling Biffin (0438 936784).