The old water jump at Gawler River Pony Club had seen better days.
After much planning, discussion and designing the new water jump has been completed on the grounds at Hillier.
It is always a favourite element at the cross country events and usually quite spectacular.
The new water jump consists of two shallow ponds each nearly eight metres by 8m, each with various graded difficulties to enter and exit the water.
The construction of the water jump has been a labour of love by devoted members and friends of the club.
The committee of Gawler River Pony Club would like to thank R and M Timber Supplies of Gawler who sponsored it by supplying much of the timber for its construction and Jackie and Jack Zekov for completing the jump and landscaping.
On Saturday, May 13, Gawler River Pony Club officially opened their long awaited new Water Jump.
The grand opening was attended by members, families and friends, life members of the club and local member for Light Tony Piccolo.
After the ribbon was cut by Mr Piccolo and GRPC treasurer Jackie Zekov, members were quick to try out the new facility, coaxing their horses through the water and over the obstacles.
One by one they went through led by Jackie’s grand daughter Zoe Zekov, local pony club member on her appaloosa mare ‘Siann All About Blayze’.
“It is wonderful to have such a grand water jump on our grounds,” life member and chief instructor Diana Birmingham said.
“Our members enjoy the challenge that a water element brings to the cross county phase of the competitions, and we will be able to practice entering the water. It is not always easy to convince your horse to get its hooves wet. It is always the focal point of One Day Events as it challenges the rider’s connection with the horse.
“Visiting riders too will benefit and we are looking forward to our next One Day Event in September.
“Riders travel from all over the state to compete in these events and our water jump will be one of the best!”
Club president Joanne Lewis said it was great to finally have the water jump open again.
“The members love the water jump. It is great fun to watch. Not all the horses are willing to enter the water. It can take quite a bit of patience and skill just to get your horse in. Our One Day Event in September will be very exciting.”
Life members Tina Peters and Marlene Agius were also looking on as the riders splashed through for the first time.
The enthusiastic crowd of members and friends who attended the opening then enjoyed a barbecue lunch and riders had the opportunity to practice riding through the water jump.
Gawler River Pony Club is to celebrate its 60th birthday next year.
The pony club still holds rallies twice a month and many events and clinics throughout the year endeavouring to promote horse welfare and good sportsmanship in an encouraging and friendly manner.
Member ages range from 5 years to 60. New members would be welcomed in the new financial year. New membership starts at the beginning of the financial year for riders of all ages and social members are more than welcome too.
Enquiries to Angela Nemeth the club secretary via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0428 618 257.