Three days of Jamboree action this weekend

HOMETOWN: Josh Bourke, pictured left, will be part of Guyra's Jamboree team to compete this weekend.
HOMETOWN: Josh Bourke, pictured left, will be part of Guyra's Jamboree team to compete this weekend.

It’s the biggest competition for young equestrians in the region and it’s coming to Guyra this weekend. 

Around 150 pony clubbers will make their way to town for Zone 13’s championship event – the annual Jamboree – and prove their versatility in the saddle with 11 different events on offer from show riding through to campdrafting.

Clubs from Tenterfield in the northern part of the Zone through to the most southern club in Walcha will field teams of up to 20 under 17 riders and six 17 to 25-year-old associate competitors for the annual event. 

The host club has been busy preparing with a full 20 member team of under 17 riders and one 17-25 associate selected at their recent camp. 

Following on from their recent Busby Shield win, the local club is ready to continue their success in the arena. 

Guyra’s publicity officer and associate rider Ellen Light said it is the championship event for the area and she hopes the community can get behind the three-day competition. 

“On Saturday night we will be holding an auction at the bar all are welcome even if your not competing for the weekend there will also be a spot cooked dinner that night as well lamb and gravy roll off the spit,” she said. 

“Hope you can all come along to see some of the pony clubs best riders throughout the New England and support this great event.” 

Zone 13 chief instructor Belinda Williamson encouraged the community to join in and said it is the pinnacle event of the region with so many disciplines on offer. 

“There is no other equestrian sport for the value for money that you can ride your horse in 10 or 11 different events,” she said. 

“Starting on Friday with the jumping, by the time we finish on Sunday with the finals of the flag and the bend there will be well over 1500 runs or events completed.

“It is a culmination of our season, of our instruction, our learning, competition, it's our grand final. 

It is the best of the best, they have been selected by their clubs.”

The tough team of four event is a highlight of Jamboree. 

“The team of four events is a long-standing tradition in pony club and over the years teams of four have gone to Brisbane and Sydney,” Williamson said. 

“It tests the control of your horse because not only do you have to get all your riding correct, you have to think of where three other people are.” 

Points are tallied at the end of the weekend and the club with the highest number will secure the prestigious Sinclair Cup.

Glen Innes are the reigning champions but Guyra and Armidale have full teams this year and aim to upset them.

While the competition in the arena is fierce, a highlight for the riders in the social aspect out of the saddle. 

“Apart from the competition, it is a yearly get together for kids who across the Zone don't perhaps get to see each other until Jamboree,” Williamson said. 

“There is that great friendship and camaraderie at every Jamboree between the riders.”

Fairfax Media will be at Jamboree all weekend so keep an eye out on our social media and website for updates and photos.