Waratah Showjumping came about a bit by accident!
The OC hosted in 2015 & 2016 the NSW Jumping Championships at SIEC in August – which suited the calendar as the Australian Jumping Championships here held around the middle of September at Werribee in Victoria. When Aus Champs moved to Boneo in 2018, and moved in the calendar to mid-November – NSW Jumping Champs moved to Canberra to be held in mid-October. SIEC had already been booked, all the officials had been booked – so the OC decided to keep the date and continue with the event – thus Waratah Showjumping!
That first year in 2017 was achieved on a shoestring budget – and the bottom line at the end of the show was looking nice and positive – until the last bill came in – then only a very little black showed. However, onwards and upwards – and in 2018 WS continued with a considerably bigger budget – with more prize $$ to the riders, more trade stands – and the move to the Indoor arena for Ring 1. The resulting configuration of the competition arenas led for the first time (in many peoples’ opinion, at a jumping event at SIEC) to an integrated “3 Ring Show” – instead of the usual spread out slightly disjointed feel – due to the nature of the venue.
WS was the first showjumping event to take advantage of the new Indoor surface – and after the first day of big competition rounds – the quality of the surface shinning through to the great appreciation of the riders – the idea of hosting a WC was mooted (not sure who thought of it first). Applications for the 2019/20 season had to be received by Equestrian Australia by 31 August (shortly after WS ended in 2018) – and WS’s application was sent in on the Saturday of the show last year.
Here we are in 2019 – and no shoestrings in sight! Hosting a WC involves the FEI – and a list of things to do and organise as long as your arm – and as expensive! And to put on an event that supports a WC is a huge effort – Live Streaming, website, merchandise, VIP lunches, trade stands, inter-state riders ..... the list goes on – has the number of officials been mentioned?
The way this is achieved for this event is through the commitment of good people to their work – from Course Designers to the catering crew to the gate stewards and FEI Stewards – all are experienced and dedicated to ensuring that WS is as successful as it can be. The OC thanks everyone for their efforts – big time!
2018 also saw the involvement of DESA – Dubbo Eventing and Showjumping Association Inc in WS. The Club Challange (which did not actually get off the ground) was a great idea to involve all jump clubs in NSW in WS – we will be trying this idea out again – but not this year! The involvement of DESA has added extra personnel to the ranks of helpers – and encouraged western NSW showjumpers to venture into the Big Smoke – and these riders are more than competitive in their classes. One must not forget that the OC hails from west of the Blue Mountains!
The OC also thanks and acknowledges the sponsors – without them, there is no event! In 2018 WS had 63 sponsors – all bar 4 (very special people) sponsored the same amount of $550. To add a WC to WS has changed the sponsorship arrangements considerably – and the OC thanks the WC sponsors, EMCEE Apparel, J & R Equestrian, Orchard Equestrian and the Tripp Family for their commitment to the event right from the start – on Friday 23 August 2018 – when the idea of a WC was first suggested. Thanks also to Jumping NSW for their support of the World Cup - and the use of the JJD gear (the live scoring part of WS).
One show cannot be all things to all riders and all horses ..... but we can try!
Without the constraints that hosting a State Championship imposes – the schedule for WS has heights starting from 75cm, and proceeding to the WC (1.60m) – with pretty much everything in between. The Young Horse day, supported by dedicated warm blood breeders such as Oaks Sporthorses, Windarra Park, Yirrkala Stud and Diamond B Farm – is a lovely day, only one ring in action and a simple lunch provided by the OC to all involved in the day.
On Thursday evening – starting at around 5.30pm in the Indoor – a Speed Class will be held. This will be used by many of the World Cup riders as a warm up for their WC horses.
On Friday starting at around 5.00pm – the CSI1* will be on. This will be the first round of a two round mini-series – with the second round being held at the SSJC Spring Championships the following weekend at the SSJC grounds at Clarendon. The Winning Group will provide a Happy Hour – from between 5.00pm and 6.00pm – and The OC will provide a simple early supper of glazed ham, bread, cheese & fruit.
The World Cup will be held on Saturday afternoon – at around 3.00pm. There will be a Happy Hour – thanks to Keeden Contracting – from 5.00pm – 6.00pm – and a Noodle Box dinner available from the Canteen at the Indoor after that and the bar will be open.
There are classes for Juniors – at two heights, Amateurs and this year for the first time, the Thoroughbred Sport Horse Association also includes classes over 4 heights. The Futurity and Young Rider classes are also featured in Ring 1 on the final day– and with the Riders’ Cup (back to its original intent of a strong Mini Prix class) Sunday 25 August will be a great finale to WS’ first WC show.