State Trials 2016
State Trials, 12th-14th March 2016, Inglis Pony Club Wynyard:
Report thanks to Nicola Hutchinson
Trials are Pony Club Tasmania’s state eventing championships for Grades 1 to 3. They are held over 3 days and riders and their mounts must qualify to enter by meeting a series of minimum requirements. This year they were held in Wynyard and Derwent had 2 riders qualified. Our team consisted of Jasmine Taylor and myself competing with Laura White being the strapper. The last time Derwent had a rider at Trials was in 2012 when Ashleigh McSherry qualified and won the Grade 3 Associates (riders over 17) class. We travelled to Wynyard on the Friday. This allowed us to settle the horses and have a ride to loosen them up and familiarize the horses with the grounds Friday afternoon.
DAY 1: Saturday was dressage, cross country course walk and Trials Dinner. There were 4 dressage arenas, each with 2 judges and tests started at 8.30am. We both scored in the mid 60’s from one judge and the low 50’s from the other judge. It was a solid start for both of us. The cross country course was about 10 minutes away from the pony club grounds and was really hilly and very challenging. We walked the course twice, taking our time to work out riding lines and approaches as some types of jumps we hadn’t ridden before. The Trials Dinner was held in an old theatre. Clubs were called to the stage one at a time to present their riders. Huntingfield had the largest number of entries, 17 riders on 20 horses.
DAY 2: Sunday was cross country. The day started early with a final course walk. Our parents put on their brave “we aren’t worried” faces while we put on our safety vests and had an AWESOME ride. Nova and I had a bit of a disagreement on who was the boss (I won!) which cost us some time penalties and one refusal. Jas went clear in optimum time. The course was certainly a test of fitness and the rider’s ability to get their mount around a very difficult course. We are both very proud of our cross country achievements, making it safely around a very hard course that eliminated a lot of riders. Laura had a great photography spot and got some lovely action shots in between strapping for two riders!
DAY 3: Monday was trot up, show jumping and presentations. Trot up is a horse inspection for soundness. Not passing trot up means elimination from the event. Each rider had to present their horse to the Grand Jury and a Vet. Riders had to be in full formal uniform and horses presented with bridle only, clean, plaited and no make up to disguise marks. Riders lead their horses on a loose rein, halt for an inspection then walk and trot in a specific pattern. We both passed! The showjumping course was a mix of a couple of long runs and some tight turns. I had a clear round, Jas was very unfortunate and hit a rail. Presentations were mounted with strappers joining in. Although there were no ribbons for us it was a great experience lining up with over 130 other riders to recognize those who had placed and celebrate the end of a great event. One of the really awesome things about Trials was the friendship and encouragement from other clubs, for example as our numbers were so small we joined Huon, who had 8 riders, for presentations and even made a new club called Huent lol! We strengthened our friendships with our fellow southern riders and made a lot of new northern friends as well.
We had a great time, learnt a lot and gained heaps of experience and confidence. Can’t wait until next year when we hopefully will have a bigger team and more club supporters able to come as it will be a bit closer to home. Thank you to the club members who offered support and encouragement. It was great to read the positive comments and made me feel proud to be representing Derwent. A thank you to Laura doesn’t seem enough, her official title was strapper but we came up with over 50 other titles she could have had! Finally a massive thank you to our parents, our PC coaches Jo, Jill and Celia, and our personal coach Sue.