Orange Equestrian Club raises the bar with 150-rider event

TAKING THE REINS: Orange Equestrian Club publicity officer Jess Jonkmans, with Spyda, shows off one of the new  jumps on show on Sunday. Photo: MATT FINDLAY                                                                                                                                                                                                   0821mfshowjumping

TAKING THE REINS: Orange Equestrian Club publicity officer Jess Jonkmans, with Spyda, shows off one of the new jumps on show on Sunday. Photo: MATT FINDLAY 0821mfshowjumping

LEADING into Sunday's’s Showjumping Spectacular Orange Equestrian Club (OEC) publicity officer Jess Jonkmans has an open message for anyone sceptical about the sport.

“Riders gets punted off, horses refuse to jump and skew off sideways. Not that showjumping is about that,” she laughed.

“It is definitely an action sport, it makes for great watching. It’s the most exciting style of equestrian I’d say, and this weekend will have plenty of great quality showjumping.”

The Showjumping Spectacular at Orange Showground is OEC’s first event since becoming an independent club.

There was little horsing around for the newly-formed OEC committee, which worked tirelessly for several months in the lead-up to the event.

With over $2500 in prize money and 150-plus riders, it is set to be one of the biggest showjumping events held by an independent club in the central west.

“When we split from the university we lost all our equipment and jumps, but we’ve since sorted that,” Jonkmans explained.

“We’re expecting over 150 riders, some of whom have been in Olympic squads. It’s record numbers for a central west event and they are coming from all the over the place.

“With our new sponsors we’ll have marquee stands, trade stands and the unveiling of all our new jumps. It’s set to be a huge day.”

OEC will trot out several new, custom-built showjumps for the event. Aligning with the AM7 rules, the jumps range from 60cm all the way up to 120cm for each of the competition’s categories.

“We start at 60cm, and each category moves up in 10cm increments,” Jonkmans explained.

“We’ll have a presentation after each event, and move into the bigger heights in the afternoon.

“General spectators are encouraged, and the bigger heights especially will be great to watch.”

The OEC Showjumping Spectacular kicks off from 9am on Sunday.

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