Hunter Valley equestrian Andrew Barnett and Bradgate Park Fonzie celebrated repeat success when they combined to win the CNC2* class at Tamworth International Eventing’s May event on the weekend.
It made it back to back wins after taking out the same class at the 2016 event.
The club’s first major competition for 2017, the weekend event attracted record entries, and riders from across NSW and Queensland, and even Western Australia.
“Every event we run we end up getting more entries,” Tamworth International Eventing Press Officer Amanda Young said.
Jessica Rae won the CNC3* class on her horse Rascal, while Queensland’s Madeleine Wilson took out the CNC1* class with Aces High.
Hailing from the Central Coast, Rae was consistent across all three disciplines. She was second after the dressage, was the only person to go clear of penalties in the showjumping and then held onto her lead in the cross-country.
There was some concern as to whether the event would go ahead but fortunately the weather cleared.
“It was definitely trying conditions on the Saturday morning. (But) By Sunday the conditions were fantastic,” Young said.
“The rain was actually probably a blessing. It softened the ground.”
Tamworth junior Laura Munt was among the winners taking out the Eva 95 junior class, while Olivia Gallegos won the Eva 45 class.
Another notable performance came from Gunnedah’s Jaimie McElroy. The NEGS student was the only junior rider to compete in an elite level class and placed fifth in the 2*.
After early predictions of around 390 entries, they ended up with 400, which Young said was a good sign for their International event in August. She attributed the continual increase in entries to a few factors. They are constantly investing in improving the grounds and the course, and get great support from local businesses and AELEC, to help them do that.
The sport itself is also growing in popularity, especially at the grass roots level.
“We have a lot of riders in Tamworth that eventing might not be their main sport but they have a lot of fun,” Young said.