The 44th Mitavite Naracoorte International Horse Trials will be held this weekend.
Riders will compete in dressage, show jumping and cross country phases across two locations this year including the Hynam polocrosse grounds and ‘Strathyre’.
Naracoorte Horse Trials secretary Melissa Richardson said there were ongoing improvements to the new one, two and three star tracks and continued upgrading of the the lower grades.
“We have included the newcomers competition for both our grass root riders and the more experienced riders that wish to bring along their young horses,” she said.
She believes the new improvements will keep the event exciting and fresh for all the competitors.
This year’s competition, which is believed to be the longest-running continuous event at the same venue in the world, will see a $1000 cash prize handed out to the winner of the team event.
In order to win, a team of four must produce the top score which will be combined with the results from the Ballarat Horse Trials held last week.
“This is a fantastic new initiative that riders from all levels can participate in and we hope to see more riders travel interstate to be a part of this fun competition,” Ms Richardson said.
The horse trials committee is continuing to build on changes and improvements from last year and have had to move the location of the competition due to increased entries.
Ms Richardson was full of praise for members of the Naracoorte Polocrosse Club committee.
“The Naracoorte Polorosse Club have agreed to host us this year, and their committee, particularly Justin Schultz and Peter Ker have all been extremely helpful and accommodating with the rather large task of moving venues,” she said.
“The move has been received very positively by riders and officials alike as the grounds are fantastic and we will have the much-needed extra room for competitions and warm up areas.”
Her praise extended to the Naracoorte Showgrounds for the many years riders and horses have been accommodated there for the annual competition.
The horse trial committee is delighted to be joined this year by an international judge, Holly Matt, from the US.
“This is not something that has been offered by other events (excluding Adelaide International) in this state so it’s something of a coup for us, and helps make Naracoorte so special,” Ms Richardson said.
Catering at the event will included a range of country food and a trade fair which will host a variety of products.
With a big attendance expected, Ms Richardson feels that everyone will be looked after.
“There will be something for everyone and we look forward to seeing you there,” she said.