MORTLAKE showjumper Tim Howarth will chase glory again this weekend after a successful outing at last week’s Geelong show.
Howarth took out the Howard Peel memorial champion showjumper award aboard Romsey and is aiming for success in the 1.30-metre and 1.40m classes at this weekend’s Warrnambool show.
Romsey, a 14-year-old Irish sport horse cross thoroughbred owned by Howarth and Warrnambool’s Gary and Courtney Barton, won four classes over three days at Geelong in the A and B grade sections.
Howarth said Romsey was a safe horse.
“He looks after an old fella like me,” he said.
“He’s very capable and experienced at what he’s doing.
“He was an older horse when I started showjumping him and he has been very successful.”
It was the second time the combination had taken out the champion jumping horse of the Geelong show, after winning three C and D grade events in 2011 to clinch the memorial.
Howarth and Romsey attended training days at Caramut Riding Club during winter to prepare for the show season.
Howarth is entered in four classes this weekend.
“It’s always a tough show with plenty of competition,” he said.
For the first time in the show’s 160-year history, the horse program offered dressage classes for interschool and unofficial combinations yesterday. Chief steward Michelle Ryan said the introduction of dressage had proved successful, with a high number of entries.
“There are 45 interschool riders and 28 adult unofficial riders entered,” she said.
Ryan said there had been a good cross-section of schools from across the south-west entered. “The kids are all enjoying it and it has been a worthwhile event,” she said.
“We decided to try something different and we have had great feedback. We will look to potentially do it again next year.
“The weather has been semi-kind.”
Showjumping, breed events and led and ridden classes will feature over the weekend. “We also have excellent harness entries this year,” Ryan said.
Seven-year-old Muirne Reilly, from Allansford and District Primary School, won one of the preparatory dressage classes and placed second in the other yesterday aboard her trusty mare Oak Park Evangelista.
Muirne and her Welsh B pony, known as Evie around the stables, have a riding lesson once a week to prepare for shows and interschool events.
Muirne will also compete on Sunday in the pony club competition, representing Dennington Pony Club.
Horse events continue today with interschool showjumping.