Equestrians put their best hoof forward
DRESSAGE: From riders making their competitive debut to former Olympians, more than 100 dressage competitors descended on Gatton at the weekend.
Lockyer Equestrian Group hosted the Horseland Ipswich Brenda Wittmann Classic 2-Star Regional Championship and about 140 horses along with 120 riders took to the arena during the event's two days.
Group president Sharyn Ross said the event was one of the biggest dressage competitions in the state and attracted riders from across southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales.
"Our club has a wonderful reputation for being really fun and inclusive, and our venue is very welcoming for spectators," Ross said.
"We have viewing areas down on the main arena so spectators can get up close and personal amongst the action."
Riders varied in experience from riders making their competitive debut through to two-time Olympian Ricky MacMillan, who brought a large team of horses for the event. "She's an excellent supporter of our event," Ross said.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan opened the event on Saturday and Ross said it was great to show her what the club has to offer.
"She was able to watch some of the competition and have a look at the facilities and upgrades that are happening there to keep it one of the best equestrian facilities in the state," Ross said.
She said the event wouldn't have been possible without the help of sponsors and dedicated volunteers.
"Our crew was a hugely important part of our event.
"There was over 150 roles to fill in that respect, and we're really lucky that people love our club and they love our event and are willing to put their hand up to volunteer to help."
The group is now gearing up for its "mega-weekend" in June, with a new jump club holding its first training night on Friday, June 21, a combined training and showman competition on the Saturday, followed by club dressage on Sunday.
Ross said the club was an "exciting" addition to the group's line-up.
Small Tour Champion: Ricky MacMillan & Diamond Dreamer
Medium Tour Champion: Tracy Rathjen & Moosimus Maximus
Big Tour Champion: Tor Van Den Berg & Rattle and Hum
Preliminary Champion: Georgia Thurgate & Benchmar Dream On
Advanced Champion: Mackenzie Boundy & BZ Fortune Cookie
Novice Champion: Nicole Tough & Voodoo
Elementary Champion: Caroline Bonney & Battlestar Galactica
Medium Champion: Nicole Tough & Ferragamo