CLEAR skies and sunshine greeted the 190 riders who travelled to AELEC to compete at Tamworth International Eventing’s inaugural competition on the weekend.
Eventing president Sharmayne Spencer was delighted to see a large crowd gather on Sunday to watch the cross-country phase of the competition.
“Eventing is an exciting sport, and we are thrilled to be able to share it with the community by providing free admission to our competitions,” she said.
Spectators were able to see riders and horses tackle a range of obstacles, including a golden guitar and a replica of the AELEC main stadium.
The event, sponsored by MPC Earthmoving, was won by Sydney-based professional rider John Twomey, riding Highly Recommended.
Speaking at the prize giving ceremony on Sunday afternoon, Mr Twomey described the event as a “fantastic addition to the Australian eventing circuit, and very likely to become one of the biggest and best events in the country.”
Mr Twomey also praised Tamworth Regional Council, the Tamworth International Eventing committee, and the sponsors and volunteers who made the event possible.
“Tamworth has always been known as a strong area for the western horse sports, and the local council has shown great vision by extending the facility so that it can host events such as this one,” Mr Twomey said.
AELEC’s operations manager Mike Rowland was happy to see the eventing competition take place, having worked closely with the Tamworth committee for more than two years in preparation for the event.
“It’s very exciting that we are now able to host eventing competitions at AELEC, as we can now cater for all Olympic disciplines at the venue, which adds to its appeal and status,” he said.
“The success of the weekend’s inaugural event is a great example of what can be achieved when we work together with local committees such as Tamworth International Eventing.”
Tamworth International Eventing plans to run at least two competitions at AELEC in 2013.