Tamborine Equestrian Group Looking to Promote Horse Trials

Other than a passing mention in mainstream media about the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips, who competed in the London Olympics, Eventing is a relatively unknown sport.

Few Queenslanders outside of horse circles are aware that they have Athens Olympian Rebel Morrow coaching and competing on their door-step. Nor do they know that Tamborine was the training ground for Jock Paget, who's just taken out England's most prestigious horse event, the Badminton Horse Trials.

It was another Queenslander, World Cup Eventer Kevin McNab, who coached Jock from an amateur to professional rider. Though he's now based in the UK, Kevin has been based in Tambourine for the past 10 years. He was instrumental in setting up the Cross Country course – which runs partly through his property.

A small and dedicated group of riders in Tamborine are looking to do their bit to expose the sport to the wider public and horse riders, by hosting a horse trials event, the Technyflex ODE, on June 22 and 23.

Tamborine Equestrian Group President Lisa Mortlock, says because there's so much to the sport, they've introduced a new "Come and Try" class.

"Horse trials or Eventing is like a triathlon for horse and rider – where they compete in three phases, dressage, cross country and then showjumping. Taking the leap from watching to competing can be a big one, so we wanted to introduce some some baby steps," she said.

"The 'Come and Try' class is for those who've never competed in Eventing before. It gives riders the chance to try the sport in a non-threatening and fun way. For all our competitors, we will have encouragement awards as well as our prizes for placegetters in each class.

"The event is open to the public and free to attend, so anyone interested in horses can pop in and take a look at the sport. Sunday is our Cross Country day where there is always lots of excitement, with the day beginning at 8.00 am. Come along and visit the trade stalls and be part of the excitement," Mrs Mortlock said.

The event runs from approximately 8.00am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday June 22 and 23.

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