Riding onwards

While many Latrobe Valley children flocked to this year’s Royal Melbourne Show in search of show bags and roller coasters, one woman was there to compete.

Nicki Burgermeister participated in the ridden heavy horse class of the equestrian competition at the show.

Her two pure bred Clydesdales, Larvistryn Harrison and Murroka Cassie, finished fourth and sixth respectively, which was a pleasing result for Burgermeister.

“We had a good time and there were a lot of horses,” Burgermeister said.

“There were eight horses and it was a really strong field, which was really good for that new class of competition.”

The ridden heavy horses class involves mainly Clydesdales, Shires and Belgian Draughts and while popular internationally, it is just beginning to grow in Australia.

“These horses are just starting to come into their own and are starting to be ridden in saddle in Australia, because it is a big class overseas,” Burgermeister said.

Preparation and training for the event begins a long way out from the show and was important in the lead up to competition, according to Burgermeister.

“We do basic dressage training and we prepare them pretty much the same as most horses, however there is a lot of effort and work in keeping them presented in a more traditional Clydesdale manner,” she said.

Next on the agenda for Burgermeister and her horses are a number of events a bit closer to home.

“We’ll do the Maffra show, where there’s a ridden class for heavy horses and then we’ll go to the Sale show, followed by the Dandenong show,” Burgermeister said.

The Traralgon show, which will not host any equestrian events this year because of work to resurface the Traralgon Recreation Reserve, has not previously had a heavy horse class, however Burgermeister hoped they would consider it into the future.

“If they were to have one, then we would most probably compete in it. It would be good,” she said.

*Josh Hanrahan is a Monash University journalism student.