The inaugural Gundagai Horse Trials

       Stuart Tinney and Sir Pepper          Photo courtesy Peter Jones


Glorious Gundagai welcomed over 340 horses and riders from across Australia including Olympians Shane Rose, Stuart Tinney and many first timers to the sport. The beautiful Murrumbidgee flood plains studded with fabulous trees, combined with superb autumn weather, set the scene for the inaugural Gundagai horse trials.

Jim Scobie and his team had worked tirelessly to present the newest NSW horse trials that ran classes from 45cm to 1*. His team welcomed help from Kate Mackenzie (EA Admin of the year) and Vicki and Daryl Burgess of EvNSW plus many local volunteers and the support of local business and clubs to get the event up and running. The local Pony Club took up the job of feeding the masses and it was a huge  undertaking delivered by an efficient and friendly team. A welcoming camp fire and the general optimism of all involved contributed to create a super friendly country event.

The dressage and show jumping ran smoothly on Saturday , some amazing dressage scores were posted, however many of which would become redundant by the end of cross country day! The challenging cross country tracks surprised even the most experienced combinations and Scobie’s inventive use of gullies and banks and ditches early in the courses meant many combinations came unstuck - literally! 

Those that took up the challenge and delivered clear rounds were thrilled and the very few that managed to ride to time with neat and accurate lines were rewarded on the score board. Some serious climbs were seen, Kylie Cooley and her amazing OTT Super Freak moving up from 28th after to dressage to 6th with double clear and under time in the CNC 1*. Busy TD Kelsey Szczepanik riding her OTT Daddys Dollars, climbed from 27th to 7th in the 60cm. Wayne Humphrys’ and his old timer Tycardin Rhythm moved from 21st to 6th in the 45cm.


     Shane Rose competing in the CNC1*             Photo courtesy Fiona Gruen


Stylish Stuart Tinney riding Sir Pepper took out the CEO Electrical CNC 1* from Shane Rose riding Finch Farm Spruce. Andrew Barnett won both sections of the AGstock 105 riding Bradgate Park Galileo and Perfect Partner.

The highest placed junior in div A was Willa Mitchell riding the amazing Wenlock Aquifer coming second overall. In Div B junior Claire Feeney and her Icarus Oliver placed 8th overall. EA Coach of the year, Sam Lyle took the top three placings in the Gundagai vet clinic Eva 95cm section A, Sophie Admas and Equus Helenic took out section B, the junior 95 was won by Lauren Giulieri riding Summerlee Felline.


      EA Coach of the Year Sam Lyle           Photo courtesy Fiona Gruen


Nat Blundell and Diamond park Aurora won the Mitavite 60cm A, Karen Yanik and Graymayre Deon finished on her incredible dressage score or 24.6 in section B as did  the Junior section winner Molly Tillett riding her OTT Cause for applause. The Boehringer Inglehein 45cm class was won by Martina Speechly riding Celtic Ruby rose and winner of the junior section was Adelaide Cunningham riding Lemongrove Dundee.

Riders both young and old, got to mix with their Olympic idols who were generous with their time and encouraging in their comments and advice. No matter how each rider’s story unfolded, Jim Scobie and his smile and endless enthusiasm to get the newest NSW event up and running, kept the show going. Gundagai’s inaugural event was a wonderful mix of world class action and rustic brilliance and Aussie spirit.


Kate Mackenzie and the girls now compete together - super stress!           Photo courtesy Peter Jones


Article by Fiona Gruen of

Full results here