WA Standardbred Off The Track Series
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2016 GRAND FINAL
Mareeva Park Float Hire Oakford
The 2016 WA Standardbred Off the Track Grand Final was held on Saturday the 29th of October at the Show Horse Council of WA’s Horse of the Year Show. This much anticipated event, now in its second year, attracted a strong field of competitors who had qualified in the classes that were held at various shows throughout WA.
This year’s judging panel consisted of two harness racing participants, leading WA trainer Ross Olivieri and successful breeder John Coffey, to judge the horses on their conformation and appeal as a racing prospect. These judges were joined by two national-level show horse judges, Francesca Christie (VIC) and Donna Button (WA) who judged the horses based on their suitability as a ridden horse.
The Grand final consisted of 3 sections; inhand conformation, a ridden workout and a final comparison of the horse’s ridden work, as a collective on the ring. Following the selection of the Top Five, Francesca Christie rode the horses and the final placings were determined.
The 2016 Series was taken out by the successful un-named gelding, owned by Tracey Cosham and now shown as Royal Pride. The 16-year-old, who was awarded an automatic entry into the final after also winning the 2015 Grand Final, was placed highly by all judges and worked out perfectly for the win. It was an emotional win for owner Tracey Cosham as this would be his last show with her.
Runner up was taken out by the gelding Caught on Camera and owner Elissa Kettlewell, who wowed the judges with his powerful trot. This was an improvement for the pair who rounded out the top 5 in the 2015 Series Final. The Parson’s Den gelding left the racing industry unraced, but has been successful in the show ring.
Prince Matao and Hannah Griffiths who qualified for the final at Bunbury Agricultural show, finished a successful 2016 season with the Second Runner Up prize. The pair, who are competing strongly in the Show Jumping discipline displayed just how versatile a Standardbred can be, completing a faultless workout.
The eye-catching black, Wash and Spin NZ, ridden by owner Kristie Morrone, was called forward into fourth place. This newcomer mare by Washington VC, was imported from New Zealand in 2013, was lightly raced by Morrone prior to starting her new career in the show ring. Still in her first season, the mare handled the high intensity and somewhat challenging conditions of the day like a seasoned professional and added the accolade to her already growing accomplishments.
Rounding out the Top Five was Rosemount Lustre, much to owner Naomi Mead’s surprise. The little mare worked very kindly and shows great promise for the future. The little black mare is new to the show scene and is already making herself known.
With the support of Racing and Wagering WA’s Off the Track program, the Standardbred Pleasure and Performance Horse Association of WA (SPPHAWA) aims to continue to grow the event, not only within WA, but also throughout Australia. Victoria has now implemented a similar event, the HERO Series, with their first Grand Final to be held in January 2017 and there is now a possibility of a national event in the future.
Without the generous sponsorship of Major Sponsors, RWWA’s Off The Track program and Ladbrokes Australian Pacing Gold (Ladbrokes APG) as well as Equitherapy Horse and Human Massage, Rockyhollows Agistment Centre and the extensive support of the local Harness Racing community, the series would not be as successful has it has been. A huge thank you needs to go out to these people who support the SPPHAWA Committee in showing that the Standardbred can have a successful life after racing.
Royal Pride & Tracey Cosham with the judges
Prince Matao & Hannah Griffiths
Caught On Camera & Elissa Kettlewell
Wash N Spin & Kristie Morrone