After winning its Age Class for two consecutive years, Bridget Kelly’s Cera Diarada finally clinched the big one, carrying home the coveted Horseland Young Showjumping Horse Champion’s Crown at Swan River Showjumping’s 2019 Indoor SRSJC Winter Jumping Festival at Brookleigh Estate.
Bred by Victoria’s Cera Performance Horses and co-owned by Bridget and D & B Pomeroy, the beautiful grey mare with the stunning lineage has continually impressed with her enormously scopey jump and go-for-it attitude (x Diarado x Cera Carlina x Clearway). This year’s interstate riding judge, Russell Johnstone, said, “She felt amazing, with the scope I look for,” after jumping each of the 4, 5, 6, and 7 year old Age Class winners in The Final Four. Bridget said, “I’ve had the mare since she was a yearling, but have taken things slowly to give her time to develop.” Her patience has certainly paid off.
“All four are quality horses,” Russell told spectators about Chadd Donovan’s Contarli Costell (4YO x Caratino’s Boy), Sophie Ahmat’s Sovereign’s Rolls Royce (5YO x Baloubet) and Caitlin Bolger’s Caprino (7YO x Yalambi’s Carpino Z) – the latter three Finalists notably produced by local breeders. But the extra something Russell felt after riding Cera Diarada helped push the judges’ decision over the line, with complete agreement from his judging panel colleagues, former World Cup competitors and WA judges Stewart Kammann and Kate Majors-Borg. “This competition is designed to pick potential international standard horses,” and the Olympic, Nations Cup, World Cup rider believes Bridget’s mare could be on its way to a stellar career.
“This year’s sizable cohort of young jumping horses was probably the strongest yet overall,” said event organiser, Suzanne McGill, a statement supported by the close scoring results. Having judged the event previously in 2014, Russell agreed, telling spectators he had seen significant improvement in the standard of horses and the training and riding of them, as well.
One of very few dedicated young horse events across Australia, the nine-year old event is reputed as a crystal ball on future performance, with more than half of its past Champions progressing to significant jumping careers. Champions including three stallions and four mares, breeding potential abounds, suggesting a fascinating future for Australian jumping.
“There’s been a long partnership between Swan River Showjumping and Horseland for this event, with Horseland Midland’s Cheryl Campbell having been a driving force in matching SRSJC’s ethos to develop WA jumping talent. Since SRSJC has been inviting breeders to participate in Age Class sponsorships, it’s thrown an increasingly bright spotlight on the achievements and goals of Australian breeding, too.”
Although the judges’ subjective ‘style’ marks determined which horses competed in The Final Four, this year’s age classes were run simultaneously as traditional two-round competitions, giving each young horse two opportunities to place in these classes. While placings in the two sections differed slightly, the choice of Cera Diarada for Champion was a unanimous judging and popular outcome.
While the young horse event was the weekend’s keynote event, horses of all ages shone through a range of exceptionally well-supported open 90-130cm classes. “WA Riders can be a little apprehensive about competing indoors since our competitions are almost exclusive outdoors, but this year’s entries were bursting.” Classes were hotly contested, with winners over the two days including: Aileron, Jade Moody: ERIC LLOYD 90 CM OPEN &YOUTH; Kentaur Chandon, David Dobson: HORSELAND 4-YEAR OLD HORSE (jumping competition); Sovereign’s Rolls Royce, Sophie Ahmat: HORSELAND 5-YEAR OLD HORSE (jumping competition); Alish Donovan, Noblewood Park Conchetta: THE GENERAL STORE 1.05M OPEN; Lexcen, Hayley Bettink: EQUINEWORLD AMATEUR QUALIFIER; Kentaur Chocolate Noir, Jessica Hoffren: QUICKMAIL 1.05M OPEN; Sweet As NZPH, Sophie Ahmat: BRIGADOON PRODUCE 1.15M OPEN; Benson’s Cat Balou, Rachel Yovich: HORSELAND 6YO YOUNG SHOWJUMPING HORSE (jumping competition); Yalambi’s High Fashion – Emily Hovell: HORSELAND 7YO YOUNG SHOWJUMPING HORSE (competition section); Maximouse, Shawn Squire: BATES SADDLES 1.20M OPEN: Diamond B Casanova, Georgie Siciliano: PATERSONS SECURITIES HI FLYER 1.30M MINI PRIX.
See EVENTS for complete event results.