COLAC rider Sarah Robbins is feeling confident heading into Camperdown’s Lakes and Craters three-day event.
The 21-year-old will ride Wayouts Dunupsupreme – whose stable name is Pumpkin – in the CCN one-star class in the annual equestrian event, which starts Friday.
“I’m really excited coming into this weekend,” she said.
“I got second when I competed at Ballarat last weekend.”
Robbins said Pumpkin, whom she started competing on five years ago, was in good form.
The 13-year-old mare missed two years through a tendon injury and having a foal, but after a year back on eventing courses was hitting a golden patch.
“A few years ago she was pretty much at the level she is now – she had a foal, but now she’s back,” Robbins said.
“She’s back to better than she ever was before.”
Robbins, who is aiming for her jumps jockey licence next year, said while it was a different environment, eventing was a good way to get some extra experience in.
“This will be my second year being a ‘picnic’ jockey. It’s been enjoyable,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to being a jumps jockey.”
It is the only event in Australia that runs that spread of classes alongside a CCI Three Star.
The Lakes and Craters event has attracted more than 260 entries.
The three- and two-star classes have attracted seven nominations, while 20 will compete in one-star.
The EvA105 class has drawn about 70 entries, while the EvA95 and EvA80 will each have about 90 entries.
Camperdown Horse Trials president Nick McClelland said the wide spread of classes on offer played a role in the healthy numbers.
“We are running classes from EA80 through to CCI Three Star, which is unique,” he said.
“It is the only event in Australia that runs that spread of classes alongside a CCI thre-star.
“It’s fantastic for the young riders and juniors, they are competing alongside Olympic riders who they hope to emulate in the Olympic arena.”
Entries have come from all across Victoria and some more from South Australia, while a strong contingent of south-west riders is also expected to compete.
There will be an international presence in official ranks, with judges and officials coming from Japan, Italy and New Zealand.
The course also has a new designer this year, with New Zealander John Nicholson providing his expertise.
The Lakes and Craters event begins on Friday with dressage, followed by cross country on Saturday.
Dressage and presentations will round out the three-day event on Sunday.
McClelland encouraged spectators to get along to the Lakes Sporting Complex, with free entry.
“The terrain on the cross country overlooking the lake is spectacular,” he said.
“You can sit up on the hill, watching the horses jump below you with lake in the background; it’s like a natural amphitheatre.”