THE FORECAST may be for rain, yet close to 300 riders and their horses will brave the elements to compete at Tamworth International Eventing’s Grant Family Pastoral national and international competition at AELEC this weekend.
With the first event for 2014 held just six weeks ago, riders from all over the east coast of Australia will return to Tamworth again this weekend to compete at the biggest event Tamworth International Eventing has held to date.
In August 2012, T.I.E ran its first event at AELEC attracting 190 entries, however, just two years later, two events are run each year at the venue, attracting a range of competitors, from newcomers to the sporting elite.
Olympian Heath Ryan will compete at the Tamworth event for the third consecutive year, partnering his horse Aspire R in the Peel Valley Machinery International CIC3* class. Heath Ryan represented Australia at the Beijing Olympics in the sport of dressage, and has been the Australian Three Day Event Champion on three occasions in the sport of eventing.
Heath placed 2nd at the July 2014 event, behind his student Hazel Shannon, who won the class with her thoroughbred gelding Clifford. The rematch between student and teacher this weekend will be exciting to watch.
Local elite rider and Tamworth International Eventing President Sharmayne Spencer is one of 14 riders competing in the Peel Valley Machinery CIC3* class, on board the mare Aurelia de Gwaihir.
“Tamworth International Eventing’s aim is to be a centre of excellence for all levels of rider, and we are very fortunate to be able to hold our events at a world class facility such as AELEC”, said Sharmayne Spencer. “Our event has attracted riders from all over New South Wales and Queensland, as well as local riders, and they are all looking forward to competing at this amazing venue”.
“We welcome spectators to AELEC to watch these brave horses and riders tackle the three phases of eventing: dressage, show jumping and cross country” Spencer said.
“Entry is free for spectators, with the dressage phase commencing at 8.30am on Saturday, and a thrilling day of cross country jumping action on the Sunday.”
Show jumping in the indoor arena for the international levels of competition will commence at 5pm on Saturday afternoon.
The cross country phase runs from 8.30am until 3.30pm on Sunday, with the higher levels competing from 12pm.