SHAHZADA 2015 – The 35th Shahzada is over, bring on SHAHZADA 2016…..
The weather forecast for the 35th Shahzada looked like it was to be a repeat of last year but the MacDonald Valley seemed to fare better than a lot of the State during the week. There was some rain on Sunday but everyone was in their camps and we all thought that would be good for the tracks so the 67 riders started on Monday and all was going well until the most awful hail/thunderstorm hit on Monday afternoon when most of the riders were going up McKechnies.....it was a real test!! However, the weather was beautiful for the rest of the week and with some re-arranged camping, most people were happy.
The fastest time of 34.08 was taken out by Marion Lengronne on Kalkadoon Vienna and Matthew Gadsby on Ra Silver Dancer while four horse and rider combinations were called up for the Best Managed/Best Conditioned Award - Stuart Lymbery and Garonne Park Walker, Nigel Colefax and Evening Star, Jodie Luck and Lindall Alabaska and Gail Fisher and Arasarta Naharlinian with the winner of the Best Managed/Best Conditioned Award being Stuart Lymbery and Garonne Park Walker. Stuart also achieved his 10th Shahzada buckle at this year's Shahzada. The full results are on the Shahzada website www.shahzada400.com with different photos thanks to Animal Focus and Main Event.
The Shahzada teams event was taken out by Slick Chicks with trophies from the Knihinicki Family, photo from Animal Focus as well as a book from the Arabian Horse Society and was made up of Gail Fisher on Arasarta Naharlinian, Bonnie Robinson on Forest Dale Dream Catcher, Julie Brooks on Aloha Byshara and Margie Boland on Rosebrae Amber. The mystery teams event was won by Snakes Alive (prizes donated by Dixon Smith) - Linda Logan on Willow Valley Dartanyan, Peter Bice on Georgie Girl, Kaliana Curtis on Blake's Heaven Carousel and John Howe on Ashbend Perazzi.
The Oldest Rider to complete was Karen Rhodes who also achieved an amazing 20th Shahzada buckle riding Stratfield Ghayth, the Youngest Rider was Isobel Foster on Sharabel Kalarney who also took out the Steve Locke Award, the Furthest Travelled award went to Trish Smith on Beaucheval Akhiran from Tasmania and the Last Rider to Complete was John Howe on Ashbend Perazzi - these awards were donated by the Knihinicki Family.
There were 68 entrants in the Mini Marathon which was held over three days of 40kms per day and gave riders and horses the opportunity to get the taste of marathon riding with the idea that they will take up the challenge next year and attempt the 400 km Shahzada……41 riders were successful. The teams event sponsored by the Knihinicki Family was Two Hens, Two Chicks made up of Makayla Circosta on Ropa Park Bella Rastique, Isabella Circosta on Ropa Park Bella Shaleila, Allison Knihinicki on Ky and Renee Kirk on Garnee Full Throttle and the Mystery Teams event sponsored by Main Event was Shades of Graii made up of Annabelle Cummins on The Byzantine Diamonds, Isobella Circosta on Ropa Park Bella Shaleila, Gavin Peacock on Chop Chop and Renee Kirk on Garnee Full Throttle.
Huge thank you to the Chief Steward, Dorte Colja and Vets Kym Hagon, Rhys Duncan, Georgie Sheridan and Albert Sole and to the overwhelming number of volunteers.
Shahzada is put together by a small committee and crew as well as a large number of dedicated volunteers and lovers of our sport of endurance....some of whom were there up to ten days prior to the event to help erecting tents and gazebos, clearing campsites, putting water up in those mountains, marking the course, sorting out pumps and water in base and staying on to tpr, timekeep, sit on gates, help in the office and pencil for the vets and run books back and forth - thank you to everyone involved in the success of the 2015 Shahzada.