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The Rock-itt : June 2011
By Rachel Smith Photos by Rachel Smith at www.furdography.com.au Visit www.northsideridingclub.org.au for more information A Classic Weekend at Northside Riding Club! The 2011 Copabella Classic was held on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May in the picturesque St Ives Showgrounds on Sydney's Northshore. Rain caused the delay of the Classic for two weeks, but it was worth the wait with beautiful weather dawning for the weekend. The best riders from around the country remained in Sydney after the Sydney Royal and Weekend of World Cups, all keen to attend the prestigious event and claim their share of the nearly $30 000 prize pool. Despite an unavoidable calendar clash due to the new date with Hawkesbury Show the classes were filled to capacity, the bigger classes especially well represented with nearly 40 riders in the 1.40m Winnings Appliances Welcome Stakes on Saturday and the same in the Emcee Equestrian Mini Prix on Sunday. In its fifth year hosted by Northside Riding Club on the Princess Anne Arena, the Copabella Classic has become one of the most prestigious events on the Australian Show Jumping calendar. This year the prize money for the feature class, the Copabella Grand Prix, was increased to $12,000, including the biggest cheque available in Australia for a Grand Prix winner. The overall prize pool for the weekend climbed to almost $30,000. The record number of entries was evidence of the high regard the Classic is held in around Australia. Alan Hargreaves from Copabella Sporthorses was encouraged by the number of entries and the quality of horse and rider at the event, "The Classic team's aim is to produce an event of international standard, and while we still pale in comparison with the Global Champions Tour rider earnings, we like to think we are heading in the right direction." The first rider into the arena to begin the week end's action was Milli W oods from the Central Coast of NSW in the Style and Substance Amateur Qualifier. Milli, keen to compete at the elite event, borrowed her son's horse Valiant Charisma when her horse developed a foot abscess during the recent heavy rains in NSW. Milli completed round one with a single rail in a good time of 59.05 seconds, making them the fastest of the four faulters and qualifying them for the Equestrian Australia Amateur Final the following day. In an amazing coincidence there was a tie for first place with Angela Dobbin from Yarra Glen in Victoria on GP Shine and Brooke Davis from Horsley in NSW on Count Wilkes both in a time of 40.28 seconds. The electronic timing gear splits the time to hundredths but this is not allowed under the rules so two first places were awarded. Martin Gostelow from Somersby in NSW was 3 seconds off the pace to finish 3rd on Carassino. The amateurs returned to the ring early Sunday morning for the Equestrian Australia Amateur Final. One of the organising committee, NRC Vice Pr esident Jock M ackillop congratulates Martin Gostelow, also a familiar face at NRC, on his 2nd place in the Equestrian NSW Amat eur Final Finalists in the Fashions on t he Field, with over $1000 worth of prizes it is a hotly contested competition Julia Hargreaves and Vedor The " Pink R ider s" from Forest Hills Pony Club raised awar eness for the McGrath Foundation Local Pony Club kids collected money and sold pink bands for the McGrath Foundation at the Classic