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State team title for Horsham Pony Club riders a first in 26 years

CHAMPIONS: Horsham Pony Club won Pony Club Victoria’s team of four title. The winning riders are, from left, Rachel Ball with horse Diablo, Morgan Lane with Wynara Be My Valentine, Morgan Lord with Havenleigh Park Thor and Billie Wills-Mellington with Vinny.

CHAMPIONS: Horsham Pony Club won Pony Club Victoria’s team of four title. The winning riders are, from left, Rachel Ball with horse Diablo, Morgan Lane with Wynara Be My Valentine, Morgan Lord with Havenleigh Park Thor and Billie Wills-Mellington with Vinny.

By Colin MacGillivray
For the first time in 26 years, a Horsham Pony Club outfit has claimed Pony Club Victoria’s team of four state title.
Billie Wills-Mellington, 12, Morgan Lane, 15, Morgan Lord, 17, and Rachel Ball, 21, represented Horsham at the State Games, Flat Teams and Musical Ride State Championships at Pony Club Victoria’s equestrian centre in the Yarra Valley late last month.
They contested the team of four category after qualifying as the top team in Pony Club Victoria’s Midland zone earlier this year.
They faced nine other teams from across the state at the championships.
The team of four category involves two routines – one rehearsed and one unrehearsed.
Teams are given a series of set movements that are performed in synchronisation in front of judges.
Riders have months to perfect the rehearsed routine, but only 10 minutes to learn the unrehearsed routine.
Horsham earned a score of 113 for its rehearsed routine, placing it equal second with Yarra Glen behind Macedon on 116 points.
Horsham coach and team manager Jo Lane said the team blew the competition away with its unrehearsed routine.
“The unrehearsed ride was what won the state title for them,” she said.
“They were clearly ahead of any other club from across Victoria. When they added the scores together, they won by one point.
“I think the judges said it was one of the closest decisions they’ve ever had in this competition.”
It was the first time since 1992 Horsham had won a team of four state title.
Ms Lane said it was an incredible effort, given the club was much smaller than some of its metropolitan competitors.
“They don’t have the access to coaches and things that the metro clubs do,” she said.
“This is a big deal for a little country club to claim the title.”
Ms Lane said her charges had earned the state championship with their tireless work and dedication.
“I’m so incredibly proud of them because they range in age and they’ve all got different pressures for the age they are,” she said.
“Rachel works full time and the two Morgans are in their more senior years of school.
“For them to show up for practice every week, regardless of the weather, and be committed to this is fantastic.”
Ms Lane said an additional challenge was the mix in the team’s horse types.
“We’ve got a 13-hand pony ranging through to a clydie cross that stands over 15 hands,” she said.
“It’s a combination of horse types that shouldn’t work, but it did.
“Everyone said what a hodgepodge of animals we had in our team, but they just worked.”

The entire December 5, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Dec 5 2018

Posted by on Dec 5 2018. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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