Hugh Main from Craven Creek has jumped away to a four point lead after the first round of the futurity section in the 2017 Stock Horse Challenge held at Gloucester Showground on June 18.
Main rode his “baby” two year old bay gelding Silverthorn Urban Oak to earn the highest points of the day in the utility course and gained a close third in the two-handed cutting.
Urban Oak was sired by Crillee Amarillo Oak, an aged Docs Freckes Oak bred stallion standing at the Silverthorn Stock Horse Stud at Gloucester River.
Bruce Snape with TaraVale Hells Belle sits in second place with 168 points, closely followed by Jaimee Vlastuin (Conomos Miss Charm) on 166 and Olivia Gray (Clairvale Acres Inca) on 160 points.
Bulahdelah horseman Joe Burgess (Malones Jack) is also well placed on 150 points, just outside the placegetters at this early stage.
In the rookie section of the challenge, the leader after round one is Vicki Evans from Nabiac on 157 points earned by her black stallion Talawahl Classic Destiny.
She holds a one point advantage over April Langridge (Kywong Wish) and Matthew Kelly (Sevenangle Neon Moon).
Katie Kelly (Sevenangle Montana) with 154 points and Lisa Hawkins (Clairvale Jay) 146 points are just behind the leaders of the rookies at this stage.
The junior and juvenile competitors in this year’s challenge were given very informative instructions by the judges on the day.
Allan Young (Aberdeen) passed on some great tips for training horses in cattle work and Darren Brislane (Wingham) explained the finer points of riding stock horse patterns.
Overall it was a great day for all despite the few showers that made conditions for the competition a little damper than desirable.
The second round of the challenge will be held again at Gloucester Showground on Sunday, July 23 from 10am.