Equitana Melbourne Proves Its Hallmark Event Status
Tourism Victoria’s Brendan Downey affirms Australia’s biggest equine festival, EQUITANA, as a major hallmark event, attracting thousands of horse lovers to the Melbourne Showgrounds from Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 of November 2012.
The 10th edition of EQUITANA played a major role for tourism in Melbourne with over 50% of attendee’s coming from outside Melbourne. Mr Downey acknowledged EQUITANA’s positive impact on for tourism. “EQUITANA is a major hallmark event for Victoria and we are proud to acknowledge that it sits on par with the Australian Open, AFL Grand Final and the Melbourne Cup,” said Mr Downey. With the ability to attract extraordinary tourism to Melbourne, EQUITANA is the only multi-disciplined horse event to be hosted in a major city within Australia. Event Director Rod Lockwood said EQUITANA generates a significant economic impact for tourism in Victoria. “There are many positives created by EQUITANA, with attendee’s staying for a number of days to shop and learn; and this year saw ticket sales reach record numbers.” Said Mr Lockwood. EQUITANA Melbourne showcased a remarkable array of events from elite competitions, international presenters, Olympians, horsemanship challenges, breed displays, world renowned equine educators, and the southern hemisphere’s largest equine shopping precinct with over 300 exhibitors. The prestigious The Way of the Horse, 3 day Australian horsemanship challenge proved once again to be a crowd pleaser, with Ken Faulkner of Queensland taking the honors. The Way of the Horse event saw three of Australia’s leading horse trainers demonstrate their highly personal and specialised methods of connecting with a young, ‘unbroken’ horse. Some of the world’s most talented and successful international equine star presenters delivered a world-class experience to the thousands of fans throughout the four days, including Britain’s Olympic Silver medalist and Eventing legend Mary King; Josh Lyons and Richard Winters who are two of the USA’s top horse trainers; and Dressage specialist Kyra Kyrklund. In conjunction with Equestrian Australia, EQUITANA Melbourne hosted the Equestrian Grand Final series that brought together Australia’s leading athletes to compete in the Olympic disciplines of dressage, jumping and eventing. EQUESTRIAN Australian Open Finals were also hosted by EQUITANA Melbourne, showcasing the western discipline sports of reining, cutting and barrel racing in front of huge crowds in the indoor purpose-built arena. Other highlights of the four day festival included the Mounted Games Tri State Challenge, Trick-riding, horsemanship behavioral clinics, Clydesdale and Heavy Horse Pageant, and Dressage Masterclass by Kyra Kyrklund. RESULTS Equestrian Gran Final
• Jumping CSI-W 1st Place – Rider: Alison Rowland, Horse: Bickley Brook Bella.
• Exhibition Eventing 1st Place – Rider: Rose.
• Dressage Freestyle 1st Place – Rider: Heath Ryan, Horse: Regardez Moi. EQUTIANA Australian Open
• Barrel Racing Championship 1st Place – Rider: Adele Edwards, Horse: Moon Roc.
• Reining Championship 1st Place – Rider: Errol Thomas, Horse: Docs Fancy Roy. The Way Of The Horse - Australian Horsemanship Challenge FINAL
• 1st Place – Rider: Ken Faulkner Mounted Games Tri-State Challenge
• 1st Place – Victoria
• 2nd Place – New South Wales
• 3rd Place South Australia. Visit Equitana Australia for full results.