Riders Slide into Merriwa Championships
Posted: Fri, 8th Mar 2019
Zone 7 hosts the Pony Club NSW State Sporting, Team Penning, Campdraft, Team Sporting, and Mounted Games Championships in April.
The 2019 Pony Club NSW State Sporting, Team Penning, Campdraft, Team Sporting and Mounted Games Championships will be held at the Merriwa Showground from Saturday the 13th until Tuesday the 16th of April. The event is hosted by Zone 7, which encompasses the Upper Hunter region. This is the first of two major State Championships that the Zone will host this year, with the second being the State Showjumping and One Day Event Championship in July.
Anastasia Martin from Zone 7 was the 2018 Associate Sporting Champion. She will be attending the 2019 Championship in her hometown of Merriwa.
The event has attracted 600 entries from around New South Wales who will represent their respective Zones and Clubs in the competition. There is also a large contingent coming in from across the border in Queensland. Historically, Queensland have been very competitive in the disciplines on offer for the championships, keeping NSW riders on their toes. The State Sporting Championship will start off the competition on the 13th, followed by the Cattle Disciplines (Team Penning and Campdrafting) on Sunday the 14th. The 15th will host the Mounted Games Championships, and the Team Sporting Championship will wrap up the competition on the 16th.
This is the first time the event has been held in this combination- previous years have seen Sporting, Campdrafting and Team Penning being held together, with Team Sporting and Mounted Games held on a separate weekend. With such a favourable response from competitors, it appears to be a winning combination. The first Sporting and Campdraft Championships were held in Dunedoo in 1980, with Team Penning only being introduced recently in 2016, along with Team Sporting.
Riders will be busy practicing and preparing to travel to the championships with some competitors travelling over 8 hours from Cobargo in the South, and 30 riders making the trip from Queensland. Riders competing are aged between 7 and 24 years, with the largest age group being the 13 & Under 15 years and 17 & Under 26 years Sporting Championship, which both have 55 competitors in each group, with over 200 entries in the Sporting along. The Campdraft is also proving to be popular with 46 competitors in the 17 & Under 26 year old group.
The Merriwa Showground will be packed out with 264 horses being housed on site for the duration. Spectators are invited to come along and watch competition which starts at 8:00am each morning. There will be a number of trade stands in attendance to allow for some retail therapy. The local Zone 7 will run a Canteen for the duration of the event for breakfast and lunch. Two championship dinners will be held on Saturday and Monday, hosted by Zone 7 to settle into the competition in a relaxed atmosphere.
Anthony Shultz of Zone 25 will be back in 2019 to defend his title in the Campdraft Championship. Pic: Kristy Bullen.
Merriwa is a small town in the Upper Hunter of NSW, with a population of around 1800 people. The influx of competitors, families, volunteers, officials, and supporters will be one of the highlights of the calendar for Merriwa, along with the Festival of the Fleeces and the Merriwa Springtime Show. Competitors are encouraged to dine and shop in the local town to see what’s on offer.
The most successful riders in each Age group will be awarded the 2019 Age Champion award and receive a sash, trophy, HYGAIN feed voucher, Horseland wool rug, and gift bag from Ranvet. The most successful Zone and State will also receive awards with up to 4 of the highest point scoring riders from the same zone receiving a sash and trophy.
Thank you to the generous sponsors of the Pony Club NSW State Championships from Horseland, HYGAIN and Ranvet.