Summer showjumping will be showcased up at the upcoming Bega Showjumping Cup.
Running across four days at the Bega Showground, event promoter Kirsty McPaul said there were more than 1400 event entries with the Cup to open on December 28 and run until December 31.
McPaul said numbers were slightly down on last year with just over 120 riders competing, but there were more than 270 horses registered, while the main event would see a strong field of about 15 riders taking part.
“We cater for all skill levels and abilities so we’ve got everything for the juniors right through to the top level main event.” Ms McPaul said.
“We also have a couple of feature events that are always popular with spectators including the cross-rail event on the opening day, while Friday night is the ever popular junior six-bar jump.
“That’s they Brian Mallyon Memorial six-bar event set to run on day two.”
Another highlight event is the Helen Slater Futurity, which embraces rising jumpers on the final day of competition as a prelude to the main event.
“We will finish with our main event, the Grand Hotel Bega Showjumping Cup from 6pm on Sunday (New Year’s Eve),” Ms McPaul said.
The main event will put riders and their horses through their paces starting at about 1.40m and ramping up to almost 1.50 metres in the second round.
“There are some really good entries for the Cup itself with about 15 riders taking part,” Ms McPaul said.
The 2016 winner Jamie Priestley will be out to defend her title, but will be up against it with some rising Bega riders and strong combinations taking part.
McPaul said the winner of the Cobargo Showjumping Cup, Lucy Evans, 17, would be making her first appearance in the top level event.
Sydney’s former-Olympian Ron Easley would also make a return visit to contest the course laid out by fellow former-Olympian Gavin Chester.
Kirsty said a lot of local hopes would be riding on the strong contention of “the four local boys”.
Australian World Cup League winner Clint Beresford will contest the round on two horses, including Emmaville Jitterbug, who he claimed the national honour riding.
Craig Matthews will jump on Fifa La Viva, a talented locally trained palomino he has been working with for a few years now.
Brett Clarke will also be a strong contender, while Deon Williams rounds the local hopes.
Williams finished third recently in the ACT Showjumping Cup behind Beresford in first and Matthews in second and said “I’m hoping we can replicate those results at the Cup next week”.
Ms McPaul said the Bega Showground was in perfect form for the Cup and thanked Charlie Bell and Craig Matthew, who have busily resurfaced and maintained the ground this year, while she said Raymond Grant had the jumps in immaculate condition.
“There is also a new shade sail going up over the grand stand this week so that will be much appreciated by the spectators.
Entry is totally free for spectators, while the ground has full amenities and organisers are running a canteen daily.
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