The Perth Metro area's official jumping season drew to a close with Southside Jump Club's 2015 Annual Championships at its home grounds at Riverside Pony Club.
Changing format this year, Southside ran its unofficial and official classes on two different weekends, so organisers could utilise Riverside's grass area for both competition levels. Rain has been known to sideline past Southside shows - so committee members breathed relief when late spring showers cleared in time for warm temperatures to yield a perfect jumping surface.
Run by a committee comprised mostly of riders, the club produced a 1.05-1.40m Championships programme that attracted strong entries on the back of the recent State Jumping Championships. "Our 2015 Championships were very similar to those we ran last year," said organiser Shane Giblett, with Combined Transport as the arena sponsor. Kevin Tully designed degrees of difficulty in the Bronze, Silver and Gold Class tracks that matched the pointy end of the competition season - with the undulating ground presenting its own challenges in negotiating related distances. Translation: There were some great individual performances, but few double clear rounds across the classes.
Single round classes against the clock kicked off the show, with speedsters Nicola Head and Descarado Velero II cementing their reputation by winning the Safety Bay Chiropractic 1.05m Open. Agility and speed propelled Bridget Kelly and her impressive young mare Noblewood Park Bella to a decisively win in the Williams Tree Pro Services 1.05m (6 points & under). Winning the Possingham Family Saddles Plus Young Masters Qualifier (AM 7) indelibly stamped GKO Arpeggio and Madison Skinner's place at the top of the 2015 EWA Young Masters Junior Jumper Leaderboard.
Senior competition took off with Gail Hellier and her young gelding Taminga Coletto tackling a tough track and winning the 1.15m Lyngarie Equestrian Bronze Class (25 points & under) against a sizable field. And then, David Dobson set off a domino set of wins in three classes, starting with a super fast time that saw him (literally) crowned with for his win in the West Coast Veterinary Services 1.20m Table C Scurry Sweepstakes. He then compensated for losing the World Cup Qualifier (to Stef Tucker and Oaks Redwood, who absent from Southside's show) by producing brilliant and winning double clears in both the Silver and Gold competitions.
None of the six horses with clear first rounds in the 1.30 Silver class could beat David on Young Equestrian's Point Break (x Pico Bello) for the Leasing Services Silver trophy. A smaller field, but similar scenario unfolded in the battle for the Touchstone Farms 1.40m Gold trophy - David winning this time on the Tucker's mare Oaks Zena, the only partnership clear in both rounds, with the skinny, wavey uphill Australian flag planks undoing much of the field.
WIth Southside wrapping up its 2015 season, competitors will have another year to hone their skills to wrest those trophies from WA's current leading rider.