21st horse event to be a celebration

By Benalla Ensign

The annual Benalla clydesdale and heavy horse driving day on Saturday, May 5, will be a special celebration.

The event, held at the pony club grounds in the Equestrian Park is now in its 21st year and has thrived since day one.

The day is run by the Victorian branch of the Commonwealth Clydesdale Horse Society (CCHS), but is aimed at a wide audience of heavy horse enthusiasts, competitors and spectators.

Judges this year will be Mr Bill Jackson and Mrs Beryl Jackson.

There will be a trophy for the Champion Horse of the day from the open ring, and the David Weaver Encouragement Award will be presented in the junior ring.

The novice and beginner rings will again be run jointly by Mr Max Marriott from Benalla, and Mr Fred Broso from Wagga Wagga.

There will be several quiet horses available for people to drive, and those with less confidence are encouraged to have a lesson with Fred before tackling the obstacles in Max’s Novice ring.

Many of the organisers of the day have been there since its inception, but none more than commentator Andrew Lavis from Morngag, whose deep knowledge of driving Clydesdale horses enables him to run an interesting and informative narrative every year.

There has been a change in insurance requirements this year, and all competitors and participants who are not members of the CCHS will be required to pay a day insurance fee of $20 for adults and $11 for children — but entry to the grounds is once again free, and there is no charge for class entries.

Classes start at 9am in the senior rings, and 10am in the junior rings. Spectators are welcome to attend.

There is freshly cooked food available all day, stalls to visit when not watching the horses, and at lunchtime there will be a heavy horse farrier demonstration and a short talk by Fred Broso about getting started safely in harness driving.

There will also be trade stalls for those with harness needs.

●For more details, phone Annie Hillis on 57626212 or Max Marriott on 57666282.