Mt Gambier
Monday, 1st April 2013

Sponsored by ~
Barker Family, Opperman Family and Shepherd Family.


The Mt Gambier Pony Harness Racing season concluded on Easter Monday at the Greenwald Paceway. Parading in fancy dress, the ponies & drivers had some fun prior to the serious business of deciding ‘Pony of the Year’ in the 3 races on the program.

Race 1: Barker Racing Stables Handicap

The first event of the day was a race over 600m with the ponies spread out at their various handicap marks.

Frankie Under Fire (Aaron Shepherd) had a good start from the front, with Willow (Abbey Gull) chasing along behind but having trouble gaining ground.

Slim Dusty (Stacey Barker) returned to the track in fine form, looking every bit the Easter Bunny as he made his way forward, while Blaze (Courtney Sealey) & Pablo (Emma Shepherd) made steady progress.

The backmarkers, Minty (Matthew Shepherd) & Pumpkin (Emma Greenfield) were unable to catch the field, with Jackim (Jacob Opperman) finding the race too challenging & settling in behind.

In the home straight, veteran pony Frankie Under Fire, maintained his lead with a fast approaching field at his tail. As he hit the line, a very happy Aaron Shepherd took out his second win for the season, ahead of Pablo, Slim Dusty, Blaze, Willow, Pumpkin, Minty & Jackim.

Race 2: Jamie Opperman Racing Stables Handicap

The second race was a short sprint race over 500m with all 8 ponies once again trying for success.

Frankie Under Fire struggled to keep his front position with the bulk of the field overtaking him at the turn, while Willow & Jackim also had trouble maintaining their momentum.

The midfielders, Pablo (Jessica Shepherd) & Blaze were making ground as Slim Dusty tried to hold their approach without success.

Minty (Emma Shepherd) & Pumpkin progressed forward quickly, with Pumpkin in hot pursuit of Pablo to the line.

In a very exciting finish, a jubilant Jessica Shepherd won her first race for the season behind her pony Pablo. They were followed by Pumpkin, Blaze, Minty, Slim Dusty, Frankie Under Fire, Willow & Jackim.

Pablo and Jessica Shepherd


Race 3: Neil & Helen Shepherd Handicap

The whistle blew on the third & final race set over a longer distance, with the handicaps spread from 530m to 830m.

Frontmarkers, Frankie Under Fire & Willow struggled with the extra distance, as the midfielders dominated the proceedings.

Jackim showed what he was capable of & progressed to the front, with Marmalade (Stacey Barker), Pablo (Jessica Shepherd), & Minty (Matthew Shepherd) trying hard to close the gap from behind.

Blaze moved forward steadily, while Pumpkin failed to make ground.

With his best drive for the season, Jacob Opperman drove his pony, Jackim, over the line for the win ahead of Marmalade, Pablo, Minty, Blaze, Willow, Pumpkin & Frankie Under Fire.

Jackim (inside) ahead of Marmalade.


Presentations & Awards

At the conclusion of the day the points were tallied, with ‘Pony of the Year’ being awarded to Blaze & Courtney Sealey. This pair has done extremely well this season with 4 wins & numerous placings.

Runner-up ‘Pony of the Year’ went to Willow & Abbey Gull, who ran consistently in the placings all season. They also won the ‘Best Presented’ category with their immaculate presentation each meeting.

Special thanks were given to handicapper & judge, Barry Carraill, race-caller, Chris Buttigieg, & best-presented selector, Sandra Gray.

Courtney Sealey receiving her Pony Of The Year Trophy from Barry Carrail


~Future Events~

Four ponies from Mt Gambier will be competing at Globe Derby on the 12th & 13th of April at the South Australian State Championships.

They will race in their various divisions, with Willow & Abbey Gull competing in the Mini Division & Frankie Under Fire & Aaron Shepherd in the Shetland Division. The Pony Division will be contested by Pumpkin & Emma Greenfield, & reigning champion, Minty & Matthew Shepherd.


x - Absent from Meeting
r - Did Not Finish Event