- With several aspects of the horse and rider combination being taken into
consideration, every judge would be feeling the pressure to ensure that
their assessment is meaningful and sees the correct combinations taking
the top honours.
Garryowen perpetual trophy enjoys its 70th birthday celebrations and marks
the milestone anniversary of the event which has captured the hearts of
all Australian equestriennes as it celebrates the achievements of a
complete and al round horsewoman.
is named after a horse named Garryowen who was owned by the leading lady
rider of her day - Violet Murrell. Garryowen was killed in a stable
fire at his Mentone home and Violet Murrell lost her life trying to save
her beloved horse and dog. Violet's husband Bill also lost his life
some days later as a result of injuries that he received trying to rescue
his wife and animals. This tragedy will never be forgotten as each
year the memory lives on in a show class which enjoys mainstream
media interest from the daily papers and television.
In a twist
of fate - the 70th anniversary year winner Caroline Wagner, also won the
event 10 years ago on the occasion of the event's 60th celebration, on her
stunning grey gelding Arc Royal.
passing of each year the event becomes a little more magical and while the
numbers have diminished somewhat in recent years (20 years ago there were
over 100 entries and the event took all day to judge. It was often a
test of temperament and patience as the horses ALL lines up and waited
many hours in the lineup for their turn to workout.
The 2004 "Garryowen"
was a little mixed in the standard of horse and rider - the ones at the
top were very, very good and some of the lower scored combinations would
do well to focus on some technical improvement to their riding rather than
take an interest in the costume areas, which can seem a little shallow
when horses are working with gaping mouths, bad manners and a lack of
understanding of a forward going horse that rejoices 'equestrian art'.
Sadly some of the horses made it look painful and quite a way from 'art'.
Congratulations to the 2004 winner. I felt that Caroline did a
workout for the 2003 event, and again at a couple of the high profile
shows later on in the season when this attractive combination seemed to
have luck against them.
Even though I felt that Black Label was more tense
today and not quite so expressive in his extensions and transitions, he
did enough to surpass the competition of the day and Caroline Wagner became the
victor of this particularly momentous Garryowen event.