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Day Two Done and Dusted at the Nutrien Equine Classic 2024

Day Two Done and Dusted at the Nutrien Equine Classic 2024

Round 1 of four key competition events continued at Tamworth’s AELEC today, where the action of the 2024 Nutrien Classic is quickly advancing.

The Prydes Easifeed Australian Performance Horse Challenge (Dry Work) first round draw was completed this morning, with past Toowoomba and Tamworth Nutrien Challenge Champion Josh Smith topping the Saturday leaderboard with 87.25 on the 2FL Syndicate’s stallion PCD REYNING METAL (Metallic Cat x Reyn On Me). With only a ¼ of a point separating him from Round leader Leah Read and LETHAL KING COLE, it was clear the Round 1 Wet Work would be a true decider for Monday’s final.

Impressive performances were seen across the Young Gun division of the Challenge Dry Work, with young talent Darby Ryan leading the under 25 riders into the next phase – scoring 83.25 aboard Brett Hanly’s gelding SMART TASSAREY (Tassa N Smart x Reydeo Drive) – a run adored by Saturdays crowd!

In the outdoor arena, the second section of Round 1 competitors in the Martins Stock Haulage Open Campdraft completed their runs this morning – with big score after big score dominating the field. Four combinations join the 91 club – Ben Hall on his and Jaye’s mare HALLS ELTORRIO (Daleys Playrio x Morrisons Citori), Matt Moffat on Kurt & Erica Hanrahan’s gelding PV GRASSHOPPER (Ima Smooth Blue Cat x Just One Moore), Ben Rossiter on his mare TREASURED ACRES (Acres Destiny x Little Squirty Oak) and Hugh Miles on Peter Shumacks stallion TIMES UP (One Time Pepto x Boon San Kitty). With Round 1 is set for completion on Sunday morning, it will no doubt be continual thrills for those viewing the action in this much-loved annual event for days to come.

Despite hot conditions, some of the best young contenders in the Performance Horse industry showcased their skills when Round 1 of the Charlie Maher Memorial Young Guns Campdraft commenced. The first 125 riders in the draw showcased their talents on family-owned horses, with Gloucester’s Lachlan Sansom on TRIPLE H (Hard Hat Henry x Mudslide Shorty) and Lane Lamb from Taroom on YAKYAK FOSTER (Hazelwood Conman x Yakyak Zambesi) making easy work of 90 points to share the lead heading into Sunday.

A growing crowd enjoyed the cool of AELEC’s indoor arena when the Prydes Easifeed Australian Performance Horse Challenge showing continued after lunch, with Round 1 of the Wet Work getting a start – and the first 50 performances did not disappoint. The rider/owner alliance between Mark Buttsworth and Rodger Grant proved a success when “Branchvale Metal Alloy” won the 2023 Challenge title – and 2024 is off to a good start, with Mark and Rodgers mare PETES PET SQUIRREL (Seligman Spin x One Hellofa Time) putting together a lovely run to take the early lead with an 80.5.

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As the Wet Work action continues tomorrow, riders will be pulling out all the stops for their chance to win the infamous trophy horse float, courtesy of long-term sponsors Peel and Jody Tribe of Navaho Trailers. Peel and Jody have donated a custom built trailer for a remarkable 10 years – the support of their Warwick-based industry leading business wholly appreciated by all involved in the Nutrien Classic event.

Rounding out a Saturday of competition excitement in the early evening, was the second section of Round 1 in the renowned Nutrien Classic Campdraft. Two competitors are now nipping at the heels of leader Morgan Webb, with Ben Hall and Luke Quaid’s gelding MILLUNGERAS SPRIGHTLY (One Stylish Pepto x Soda Sparklet) and Robbie White on his gelding LIMITED TIMES (Times Up x EP Lawsons Lena) clocking 90 points each! With the last of the Round 1 runs still to come, it’s early days – but with nine riders on 89 and a further eleven on 88, it’s clear the competition for the 2024 Classic Campdraft title will be tight.

The first weekend buzz continues tomorrow, with Round 1 results to be concluded as the remaining Challenge (Wet Work), Open, Young Guns and Classic Campdraft competitors take to the arenas. The first round of the National Campdraft Council of Australia Champion Rider event also kicks off at 4:30pm – a busy Sunday not to miss!