National Games Competition held in Adelaide 13th - 16th November
The following report has been received from Phyliss Pyke who was the PCAT Chaperone for both the Junior and Senior Games Teams.
PCAT would like to congratulate both teams on a their commitment, good sportmanship and cameraderie over the competition and a huge thank you to coaches Barry Harper and Liz Murton.
We would also like to offer our commisserations to Samantha Smith who had a very unfortunate accident at the final training and suffered a nasty break to her leg. We all wish Samantha our very best wishes and hope that her leg heals quickly and is again back at pony club.
We also thank Pete Archer who had been attending all training sessions as the first reserve and stepped in at the very last minute as a team member.
Especial thanks also to Anna Murton who put together a wonderful collarge of the Tasmanian Teams and was certainly spoken about both at the dinner and at the Mounted Games Competition by many of the other States Presidents.
REPORT ON 2008 NATIONAL PRINCE PHILIP AND SENIOR MOUNTED GAMES – ADELAIDE 13th -16th NOVEMBER
Following squad selections held in May, The NPPG and Senior Mounted games teams commenced their training which was held at various locations throughout the State. The training sessions demanded commitment and dedication by the riders who trained regardless of weather conditions, including large hailstones at the Powranna practice! After undergoing a further selection process in August, the junior team under the guidance of Coach Barry Harper comprised of Sam Smith and Joshua Dales (Huntingfield), Sam Gardiner (Circular Head), Chloe Ranicar (Tas) and Sarah Henley (Launceston) with reserve rider being Peter Archer (Tas.). The Senior Team was Erin Bowman (Tas), Anna Murton (Inglis.), Ester Dales (Huntingfield), Sabrina Docherty (Leven) and Tegan Lovell (Brighton) with Karina Ives (Kentish) reserve rider. Senior Team Coach was Liz Murton.
Final preparations including fitting of team uniforms and flight bookings were going smoothly and both teams had their final practice on Saturday prior to departure. The Junior team had an awesome experience of having their final practice at Woolnorth in the far North West of Tasmania, this was kindly arranged by Sam Gardiner’s parents and was an unforgettable experience for the riders not only for the breathtaking beauty and history of the property but also because a drama unfolded when team member Sam Smith unfortunately fell whilst training and sustained a broken leg. This required Sam to be transported in a 7 hour journey to the Royal Hobart Hospital for Surgery. Despite the despair felt by team members with Sam disappointingly being out of the team, the riders rallied round reserve rider Peter Archer who was now going to Adelaide with only days to spare. A flurry of activity saw flights changed, a new uniform ordered and the team was set to go.
The junior team members departed on Thursday 13th November on a 6.15a.m. Flight from Launceston airport and the senior team followed on Friday.
Upon being met by members of the S.A. contingent in Adelaide, teams were transported to the Adelaide Shores Holiday Resort at Glenelg; our accommodation was in individual units with direct access to the beach which was very much enjoyed by team members throughout their stay. Also everybody spent many hours bonding with other State Teams on the gigantic jumping castle at the resort!
On Friday, Junior Team members were taken on a guided tour of the Historic Adelaide Gaol and also the S.A. Mounted Police Barracks where riders were given the opportunity to get up close and personal to the beautiful grey horses used by the Mounted Police, some of the horses were just being loaded to conduct crowd control at the Jimmy Barnes Concert that was being held that night! A further memorable experience that day was to walk the course of the Adelaide International 3 Day event which is held in the Adelaide Parklands, riders were in awe of the size of the CCI**** cross country fences which they then got to see in action when they returned to the event on Saturday to see our Olympic riders tackle the course. Senior team members took the opportunity to explore the City of Adelaide and check out the shopping, returning later on Saturday with absolutely awesome Mexican sombreros which made them very easy to spot at the Horse Trials!
Saturday night saw team members attending the official dinner and looking very smart in their team uniforms and despite a few nerves, each rider stood up and introduced themselves to the audience and spoke on their team experiences and our Tassie team really shone out with their confidence and humour. A highlight of the dinner was the display of a stunning collage which was created by Senior Rider, Anna Murton. The collage featured a kaleidoscope of photos of team members during the preceding month’s practices and also Tasmanian icons such as Cradle Mountain and Wineglass Bay and very cleverly featured small maps of Tasmania which showed the home ground of each rider. Each State was requested to provide a collage and the Tasmanian display drew many comments of praise.
Sunday, competition day dawned early and riders were up before 6 a.m. to travel to Bowden where the games were to be held. After a quick inspection of their team horses, the junior team paraded and then the games commenced. The pace was fast and furious with the highly regarded NSW and Victorian teams battling out each game and with SA and Western Australia close behind. Our team gave their all and although luck didn’t always go our way, Coach Barry Harper, kept his cool and instilled confidence in his young riders. The games horses kindly donated by SA Pony Clubs were very experienced and provided a great competition. The junior team showed great courage and gave each other tremendous support throughout the games. After a mammoth tussle between States, NSW emerged the victor with W.A. close behind in 2nd, followed by Vic, S.A. Qld, N.T. and TAS in 7th place.
Our experienced senior riders were a great support to the junior team and loudly cheered them on and offered encouragement. Coach Liz Murton, had the seniors primed and ready, then it was their turn to take on the other States. The seniors fought hard and came home placed in the top three in several races and only minor misfortunes saw them relegated in the remaining races. The senior competition concluded with Victoria in first place, S.A., W.A., N.S.W., Tas and then Qld.
After the presentation of awards, our teams said farewell to new found friends and team members then headed back to the airport for the flight home or met up with their families to continue their holiday in S.A.
All of our team members conducted themselves with great pride and maturity throughout the competition and Tasmania can be very proud of these riders who have shown outstanding commitment and dedication whilst striving to represent their State in such a prestigious National Championship.