Report Index & Event Overview
Story & Pictures Berni Saunders
Ironically the Ruby Anniversary of Barastoc Horse of the Year was held less than a week after almost all regions of Victoria were affected by the worst bushfires on record.
The picture on the right was the moon at 10.30 pm on Sunday night the 15th February, and she seems to be either celebrating this special time or warning of the fire risk which looms as we enter the 12 year of drought and extremely dry conditions.
I expected the numbers to be down as many rural areas were still on high alert ... but it seems that nothing stands in the way of a good show and the chance of a blue ribbon - so the organisers would have been very pleased with the numbers. Parking seemed to cause a problem and exhibitors were only able to move their vehicles onto and off the Werribee Park grounds early in the morning and after the each days activities had ended so some were stuck in the Werribee Park Zoo car park and faced with a long walk to the stables and facilities.
I am sure that this would be viewed as a 'high class problem' as it confirms that even the venue is at bursting point catering for the event.
I did not attend all days as I was focused on helping fire victims so my report and pictures only take in the events of the open classes on Sunday. The competitors in these classes must be commended on the presentation, education and good work on the day of their beautiful horses - it is quite uplifting to see so many 'drop dead' beautiful horses and ponies contenting the a very prestigious award in their particular class.
Barastoc Horse, Galloway, Large Pony, Small Pony and Shetland of 2009
The judges bought a great depth of knowledge plus vast and varied experience to their job and there were no real surprises in the top placings.
Judges - Maree Tomkinson, Craig Rawson, Dianne Barnes and Claire Uren
had a challenging task to separate the top lots.
The Barastoc Horse of the Year went to the Tasmanian mare Consequence, owned and ridden by Tania Hay. The beautifully conformed and well educated "chocolate chestnut" backed up her 2008 win and her rider had to fight back the tears of joy when the announcement was made.
Consequence and Tania Hay receive their coveted award.
Runner up hack was Barb Begley & Demi Morrison Lemrac's Dancing Poet. It was great to see him successful with his new owners. Poet has had a glittering career with master showmen Gary Beaton and Brian Scholes and he looked grand as he stepped out on the polo field at Werribee Park.
Lemrac's Dancing Poet was very excited and so was his rider.
The Barastoc Galloway of the Year was the elegant mare Debanlay Mademoiselle, ridden by Daryl Hayes. The large pony winner Leanda Hello Dolly is a lovely type and she was very well ridden and presented by Chanel Hunter who was thrilled to bits.
Leanda Hello Dolly
Silkwood Angel Wings
The Barastoc Small Pony of the Year was Silkwood Angel Wings and rider Grace Hill showed great skill in her work. The charming Shetland of the Year was the coloured pony Caramia Benjamin and he and rider Courtney Bird seemed to have fun and enjoy their performance. Nice to see the smiles
So Barastoc is over for another year and we all thank the sponsors, officials and their team of volunteers for making this one of the best events on the Australian equestrian calendar.
If you would like proofs and prices of pictures e-mail Berni