Leading showjumpers make tracks to Wagga

Reigning national champion Jamie Kermond will headline the NSW Country Championships, which will be held in Wagga for the first time on October 22 and 23.

HIGH FLYER: Reigning Australian champion Jamie Kermond will compete in the NSW Country Championships next weekend, a first for Wagga.

HIGH FLYER: Reigning Australian champion Jamie Kermond will compete in the NSW Country Championships next weekend, a first for Wagga.

The Riverina Equestrian Association – Showjumping club will host the largest event in the club’s history when riders from across the country descend for the two-day event next weekend.

REA – Showjumping president Michael Lucas was thrilled to have the CSU Equine Centre venue selected to host the prestigious event.

“This is the first time it has been held in Wagga,” Lucas said.

“Traditionally it has been held in Northern NSW areas.”

The club applied for the event to be held this year and following the success of smaller events were given the chance to impress.

Kermond, a duel Australian champion and World Equestrian Games representative, was a reserve for the Australian Olympic team this year and is far from the only big name to enter for the event.

Scott Barclay, who has experience on the World Cup circuit, will also compete as will Victorian based Jess Barton.

Participants will come travel from across NSW, Victoria and the ACT for the event, with one family even coming from the Northern Territory to take part.

With the calibre of horse and rider, Lucas is expecting plenty of showjumping prowess to be on display.

While entries are open until Monday, the event is already at capacity.

Just over 300 horses have been entered meaning there will be over 900 rounds of competition next Saturday and Sunday.

To deal with the big influx of horses and riders, the club has been working hard to have an adequate number of facilities.

“We have had to bring in portable yards and stables to accommodate all the horses,” Lucas said.

“There is not enough stabling facilities out there at the moment.

“We have to bring out nearly 100 yards and stables to house all the horses coming from all over the place.”

Two competition rings will be used to help cater for participants of different skill level and experience.

There is one with jumps ranging to 60 centimetres to 1 metre for inexperienced horses and riders, while the main ring will start at 1.05m and will go up to 1.4m for the senior title.

Five title class will be up for grabs starting with the senior champion, the young rider champion, junior champion, amateur champion and the future star.

Competition is expected to get under way at 7am with free entry available to spectators.

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