The weekend of September 30 and October 1, 2017 saw something magical happen. Children from five to 18 years, from around the country came together for a common goal, to enjoy their horses and make new friends.
Report by Karen Fletcher-Grieve
Photography By Samantha Taylor*
For several years, the Arabian Horse Society of Australia has been looking to expand opportunities for our youth members. Whilst we had a minimal youth programme at the Australian Championships, there was no room to expand the programme and cater for a broader range of youth activities. So, this year, we took the youth section of the Aussie Championships and gave it its own identity and a chance for further growth. Many generous sponsors and supporters put their hands up to help create this new event. The enthusiasm of these people went a long way towards making the inaugural Youth Championships such a success.
The discovery of the wonderful new facility in Camden, New South Wales was the first step. K Ranch is perfect for the type of event we were looking to run. Although it has only been operating for 16 months, the arena, stables, camping facilities, bar and viewing area and location were an ideal setting. K Ranch is looking to further develop its facilities in the near future, so we will be looking to utilise this fantastic venue again in coming years.
The programme had something for everyone, from lead line, to halter classes, to fancy dress, to ridden classes. A popular addition was the sporting programme, including working hunter classes and novelty games. This is one area we believe we can grow in coming years. It was great to see seasoned show horses letting their hair down to have a go at events such as bending, flags and barrel races. Our plan is to engage new members from pony clubs and other sporting groups to entice them to Arabian horse events.
Planning is already underway for next year and beyond. The programme will be expanded next year, and an additional day added. We look forward to providing a variety of activities for all youth competitors to enjoy. We hope to see even more youngsters come and experience the comradeship, good sportsmanship and just sheer enjoyment the competitors had this year.
To order photos from this event please visit Samantha Taylor – Photography & Design website at www.samanthataylorphotos.smugmug.com