Standardbred Pleasure & Performance Horse Association of WA
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     2017 SPPHAWA FESTIVAL
The 17th State Championships cumulating with the 10th year anniversary since the inception of SPPHAWA was celebrated in fine style displaying again a fantastic number of horses competing over the two days at the pristine surroundings of the Wallangarra Pony Club grounds.  The weather on the Saturday played a part in showcasing the gleaming coats of the exhibits on show whilst on the Sunday even though we didn’t experience rain the wind played havoc with some of the ridden horses. Annette Vickery from NSW was invited to adjudicate for the weekend as the committee thought it appropriate to invite her back as part of the anniversary theme as she judged the championships in 2006. The decision to include a Walk/Trot invitation only ridden section on the Sunday also proved a victory that had twenty three horses entered in total on the second day. Local identity Keith Langon was the judge elected to officiate during the miscellaneous classes on Saturday and the Walk/Trot ring on Sunday.
Due to wonderful effort from our committee and also the ongoing support of both old and new sponsors each Champion was presented with a rug and Reserves in every class also were honored with prizes. On top of this, prize money was on offer to all placings in every class over the weekend. The SPPHAWA committee is extremely proud to announce that near on $5000 made its way back to the competitors over the competition. The competition was of a very high standard this year with great depth throughout the classes.
The show was opened with the Partbred classes and again unfortunately Adina Park Exquisite Elle was the sole entry. The judge commenting she was an outstanding individual that had a great future under saddle with her prettiness and appeal. Red Salute made a clean sweep of the Race conditioned classes and even though raced the previous night was still in good stead to take the Champion honors over Master Flynn for Reserve. The young Elsu gelding Vallentino gave his handler a few hairy moments before regaining composure to be awarded Champion Junior Exhibit leaving Star Of Destiny claiming Reserve Champion. I Am Zac always demands attention and even though the only stallion entered was a worthy recipient of his Champion Stallion award. The competition was about to step up with the volume of the entries being in the senior mare and gelding classes. It was to be a repeat of last year’s results with the big moving mare AP Burlesque earning her second State Champion Mare title and Radial Pie securing Reserve Champion for Fiona Attard. The gelding classes were divided into three age groups with the same three winners from the previous year in Swagga (4 - 8yrs) Sexy Beast (9 - 12yrs) and Scoot On By (13yrs and Over) being the winners of the respective classes. The former group 1 winner on the track Swagga again proved his aerial agility was as stunning as his four feet on the ground movement to claim his second Champion Gelding title. The Reserve Gelding award was presented to the every reliable Scoot On By and Ash Guagliardo.  All five Champion winners were presented for Grand Champion judging with the judge asking for an individual run into the ring by each exhibit followed by a presentation on side profile. After a brief walk through the exhibits the aptly named Swagga was called forwarded to be sashed the Grand Champion Led Exhibit for 2017. The judge commenting that this horse displayed a wonderful balanced body, good slope of shoulder, strong hind quarters and a charisma and exuberant character she thoroughly enjoyed judging.
The Champion Best Presented of the show followed with the immaculate Scoot On By and Ash Gualiardo winning Champion from AP Equisite Elle and Kristie Morrone taking Reserve Champion with the judge commenting the standard of presentation throughout the classes was exceptional.
Local judge Keith Langan oversaw the proceedings during the lunch break beginning with OTT and WA Bred classes.  The impressive stallion I Am Zac ticked all the boxes when successful in taking out Champion in both these sections with Scoot On By having to contend with Reserve on both occasions.  The young gelding Vallentino was victorious in the Show Horse Champion class with I Am Zac taking Reserve and likewise Oakridge Benevolence was successful for Sam Cechner in the Show Hunter Championship and Jack awarded Reserve. The Handler classes followed with Champion Junior Handler going to Kaytlin Holland and young Lina Morrone was successful in being awarded Reserve. The Champion Senior handler went to Alex Markowski proving being away from the show ring for several years is no barrier when it comes to good handling skills whilst Reserve Champion was awarded to Anna Brockless.
After a somewhat lengthy lunch break waiting for the miscellaneous classes to finish Judge Annette Vickery took centre stage to judge the Harness classes. With only four horses competing all the classes leading up to the Champion were worked on the ring with the Turnout being first up.  The four horses looked superb that made for a difficult decision to what combination would be awarded top honors. The flashy Sexy Beast and Kristie Morrone were awarded the blue for this class and were also successful in the over height class to qualify for the final. Likewise Scoot On by and Ash Guagliardo qualified by winning the under height class and as both these horses had a full ridden program the next day it was decided by both girls to not contest the other classes. This left both Master Flynn and Argent Treasure to contest the remaining class that enabled both to also qualify for the final workout. A free workout was offered to the four competitors with the judge asking for variance, balance and obedience to the driver. It would be the more experienced harness combination and the compliance of the lovely moving Scoot On By who was called forward for yet another major Harness award. Sexy Beast did his owner/driver Kristie Morrone proud in his first attempt at Harness in taking Reserve Champion.
Sunday’s proceedings started with the Smartest On Parade winners from the Elementary, Intermediate and Open classes competing for Champion.  Sexy Beast and Kristie Morrone were awarded 2017 SOP Champions followed very closely by Caught On Camera and Elissa Kettlewell for R/Up. The rider classes were to be determined by ages with Hannah Griffiths winning her class and Kristy Padberg successful in the older class.  Kristy Padberg was crowned Champion Rider keeping her impeccable State Champion Title record intact and Hannah Griffiths was successful in defending the Reserve challenge from Trish Woolcock.
The Walk/Trot Elementary ring and judge Keith Langon had ten competitors with Anna Brockless aboard Hydrotest winning the rider class and also successful in the over height class, medium/heavyweight and Show Hunter class to qualify for the Champion workout. The vast experience of rider Kristy Padberg piloting the least experienced horse in today’s competition Sheeza Royal Star decided on winning their first class they would not compete until the final as this mare is only a few months off the track and didn’t want her getting tired or upset. Mr Aviator and Sharon Joyce looked stunning and worked well when winning the Senior Hack class whilst the stallion I Am Zac topped the billings in the under height class, Lightweight and Show Hack class. With four horses qualifying for the Championship it would be free workouts for all.  Again the experience and wisdom of rider Kristy Padberg paid off hugely when she executed a very simple workout displaying obedience to rider, flexion and smooth transitions in a short but precise workout to take Sheza Royal Star to Elementary Champion Hack. This is a wonderful effort considering this mare had only finished her racing career in November.  Reserve Champion was awarded to Anna Brockless and Hydrotest who had worked very consistently all day. It was evident that some of the horses did become tired and rather unsettled towards the end of the competition.
The Intermediate classes had eight horses entered with only six competing on the day.  AP Burlesque, Global Alliance and Rosemount Lustre were all prominent in winning various classes to qualify for the Championship workout. As with the harness the previous day the classes were all judged extensively on the circle with the Championship now being a free workout. The judge commenting she wanted to see all gaits with variance shown. Global Alliance worked with his usual aplomb and displayed the traits of a perfect Hunter type horse. The stunning Rosemount Lustre with a trot to die for improved with each class and gave a nice display of gaits in her final workout. AP Burlesque who had a few issues during the course of the competition with the wind and a ringside marquee executed a workout although not perfect, but with softness and true gaits that had her awarded Champion Intermediate Ridden hack. Global Alliance was rewarded for his consistent performances throughout with the Reserve Champion Intermediate Hack.
The Open classes had the five horses compete, and with all horses winning classes (Sexy Beast Junior Hack & Show Hack, Caught On Camera Senior Hack, Overheight Hack & Medium/Heavyweight, Prince Matao Show Hunter, Radial Pie Lightweight Hack & Scoot On By Under height class) making them all eligible for the final. This was now the high end and business part of the competition and all horses worked really well and this left the judge to study the horses in the lineup before her decision was made. It would be an overwhelmed Ash Gugliardo and Scoot On By who would be called forward for Champion Open Hack with the judge describing this horse as just a really compliant and smooth going horse to watch go around. Sexy Beast capped off one of his best performances when awarded Reserve Champion Open Hack.
As in the previous year when the Intermediate section was introduced at this event the two winners of each section came together for a work out to determine the Grand Champion. Again a free workout was called for with Scoot On By going about his business in his usual non fuss manner for his rider although just lacking that touch of sparkle that took him to victory in the Open Hack ring. The inexperienced mare showed composure, softness, and compliance to her rider demonstrating good variance in her gaits and executed a lovely extended trot to finish her workout. It would be the Intermediate graded horse AP Burlesque that would be called forward for the Grand Champion Ridden Exhibit. The judge commenting that the Open horse was very compliant but the mare was a lovely gliding mover with a very nice degree of softness and a very true gaited canter that was the deciding factor in today’s decision. This is a huge success story for this mare and her rider Kristie Morrone in her first season under saddle in the canter ring since coming off the track from a brief racing career.
SWAGGA - Grand Champion Led
AP BURLESQUE - Champion Led Mare, Champion Ridden Mare & Smartest On Parade
I AM ZAC - Champion Stallion
AWARDS
ROYAL SHOW
STATE CHAMPS
     18/19th November - Judge: Mieke Bigg (QLD)
DARDY DELIGHT - Champion Led Show Hunter &
Champion Elementary Hack
SCOOT ON BY - Champion Harness Horse
SCOOT ON BY - Champion Show Horse & Grand Champion Ridden
VALLENTINO
Champion Best Presented & Runner Up Gelding
PRESIDENT HOYLAKE - Champion Off The Track
CAUGHT ON CAMERA - Champion Ridden Gelding &
Champion Show Hunter Hack
VALLENTINO  - Runner Up Elementary Hack
KAYTLIN HOLLANDS - Champion Junior Handler
KATHLEEN HOWSE - Champion Senior Handler
SATINKA PARK ASHTAAR - 2nd Runner Up Working Hunter
CAUGHT ON CAMERA - Runner Up Working Hunter
PRINCE MATAO - Champion Working Hunter
SPPHAWA FESTIVAL