With all the uncertainty of COVID-19 lockdowns and their effect on being able to play and participate in sports, the Newhaven College equestrian team was very grateful to be able to continue to run its training day at Tarwin Lower Pony Club grounds on Sunday, August 15.

They had been scheduled to ride at Tooradin Estate but, as it is classified as Greater Melbourne, they were very fortunate to be approached by members of

Tarwin Lower Pony Club and to be invited to use their beautifully presented cross-country course for the day.

Emphasis for riding instruction in the morning session was to practise riding in open country, in two-point seat and having an opportunity to gallop on a very sandy and safe surface.

In the afternoon, each group had a turn on cross country.

“With the end of winter approaching and a feeling of spring in the air, some of the horses found the experience of being out and about a little exciting and our team members rode beautifully to get the most from their mounts.”

The Newhaven College Equestrian Team would also like to congratulate team member Gabe Smith on his selection into the Pony Club Australia’s Victorian

Team to compete at the PCA nationals as number one rider for the junior games’ teams.

Mounted games is a discipline of riding that finds its history in military exercises to keep cavalries, riders, and horses in practice for the battlefield with the use of lance, spear and sword.

Many of the games’ roots in military exercises can be seen as riders and their mounts race against each other with tasks to perform.

Mounted games is a very fast paced and exciting form of equestrian sports as ponies gallop with riders clinging to their backs with quick dismounts and vaulting mounts while ponies are still in motion spinning around markers and heading toward the next challenge.

“Gabe is one of Victoria’s most promising up and coming games riders, and we look forward to watching his progress at the nationals in September.”