They may have had one of the smaller teams at Zone 13’s annual Jamboree but Tenterfield Pony Club made an impression on the rest of the competition.
Tenterfield only took a team of 15 riders, while Glen Innes, Armidale and Guyra had full teams of 20 riders, but the smaller club still managed a fourth place in the overall highest pointscore.
Junior riders Fletcher Koch, Chloe Thomas, Brooke and Ryan Tudor were the winners of the prestigious team of fours event for their age division.
Emily Rhodes and Buster sped their way through the flags to earn the fastest time for the whole weekend while Jackson O’Neill finished as reserve champion in his age group.
“I think they rode very well,” Tenterfield Pony Club president Steve Parker said.
“We came fourth in the highest pointscore with a smaller team than the teams above us so I think they did exceptionally well.”
The Jamboree was hosted by Guyra Pony Club and saw around 150 riders turn out. Glen Innes clinched a narrow, overall win over Armidale in both the under 17 and associate categories.
Zone 13 chief instructor Belinda Williamson credited the host club for a “very well run” event and was thrilled with the high level of riding and sportsmanship on display.
“Their manners, their horsemanship, it was really good to see kids cheering other riders on irrespective of what club they're from,” she said.
“They ride competitively and are out to ride for their club and it's on to beat whatever club but at the same time when it comes to cheering riders on and wanting their mates to do well, they do. I watched several riders ride hack patterns that would win them a ribbon at Toowoomba or Sydney.
“Beautifully ridden classes, I was really impressed.
“It's good to see that many riders presented beautifully to represent their clubs and no doubt we will be seeing some of you at the State Championships in April.”
She said there was vast improvement in the riders since the beginning of the competitive season while the team of fours event was the highlight of the weekend.
“We had kids there that from when we started in the September-October school holidays in our camps and then into our interclubs, the level of progression in some of those riders was absolutely mind-boggling,” she said.
“At the end of the day, that beautiful presentation in the teams of four and that level of riding and horsemanship the riders have come up to since the start of our season in September. Look out State Championships, Zone 13 is on it's way.”
There was plenty of banter and prank pulling between the teams outside of the arena to keep the friendly rivalries among the clubs.
Walcha even went to the extent of chaining and padlocking their banner to prevent it being stolen.
“That tradition of snavelling another club's banner and 'what are you going to do to get it back?' has been in as long as Pony Club has,” Williamson said.
“They're all the good antics and the good side of Jamboree.”