Naracoorte Horse Trials celebrate 40th year

THE Naracoorte Horse Trials at Strathyre and the Naracoorte Showgrounds on May 17-18 was a resounding success.

This iconic event celebrated its 40th year and as part of the new look Naracoorte Horse Trials a Young Rider Team Championship was re-introduced.

This year there were young riders from Victoria and Tasmania as well as SA.

Unfortunately there was no team from Tasmania but their sole representative, Tayla Smith, came away with third prize in the Individual Young Rider Competition.

Tayla was very excited by the whole Young Rider experience, including the Friday night reception at the Town Hall attended by the Naracoorte mayor Erika Vickery.

Tayla said she will definitely be back next year and next time hopes to have a team.

The Young Rider team competition was won by the SA team of Jaimie Stichel, Caitlin Keith, Georgina Watson and Maree Heading - all girls completed their Cross Country phase with no penalties.

Victoria came second and their team was Rebecca Maccrea, Lucy Crawford, Natalie Umbers and Megan Hart.

Their team manager Jodi Umbers was so excited the whole event that she has vowed to bring two teams next year.

The Young Riders were also given the opportunity to canter a lap of honour - something which has disappeared from most events over the years.

The three highest classes: one, two and three star were run under international rules and we had record entries in these classes for a South Australian event this year.

The feedback from the riders was very encouraging and those that travelled from Victoria were really thrilled with the upgrades that have taken place over the past couple of years and are looking forward to returning next year.

The lower grades run under national rules all had good numbers, including the introduction of the Newcomers Class - with many thanks to Naracoorte Lucindale Council for making this possible.

That event was also a great success.

This class encourages the young and/or inexperienced riders to participate from the grassroots level and gives them an opportunity to compete and learn the ropes for the first time.

A trade fair was introduced for the first time in many years and this was also very well received.

Organisers hope to encourage more local businesses to participate next year but were very pleased with the turnout in the first year.

Overall the committee worked very hard to make the event such a success, the atmosphere was great - as was the weather - and the excitement surrounding the return of the Young Rider Team Championship almost eclipses the other classes.