Equine

Benalla team wins prestigious title

By Country News

A team from the Benalla and District Adult Riding Club has taken out the Top Team Trophy Dressage event for the first time.

Kate Gordon, Melanie Ford and mother and daughter Hayley and Jenny Graham were crowned the best in Victoria during the November 10 and 11 event held at Elmore Equestrian Park.

With Ms Gordon winning her section on Saturday and the Graham women placing second in their sections, the club was sitting in third position overall heading into the final day.

That was until Hayley won her event on Sunday, lifting the team to the top position and cementing it as TTT Dressage champion for the state.

Benalla and District Adult Riding Club secretary Leanne McLeod said hearing the news of the win gave everyone goosebumps.

‘‘The excitement when the news came through that they won was just colossal,’’ Ms McLeod said.

‘‘There was just goosebumps everywhere — there was some pretty excited people out there.

‘‘To win something as prestigious as this is just colossal.

‘‘Hats off to the girls, they have done a sensational job.’’

Competing against more than 100 teams filled with the best of the best from the state, it was the first time Benalla had won the dressage event, having won the showjumping section previously.

As the 2018 winner, Benalla now has the opportunity to host the event next year, however, Ms McLeod said due to the large scale of the competition it was unlikely Benalla would take it on.

For now, the excitement of winning the event still remains for not only the four women, but the entire adult riding club.