DENMAN horseman and polocrosse player Lance Anderson made his mark at the Man From Snowy River Bush Festival at Corryong, Victoria, at the weekend, finishing second in the stockman’s challenge as well as winning the open dog trial.
Anderson and Peppercorn Heidi were awarded 88 points in the first round of the cattle dog trial, which required participants to work three head of cattle around a course in the rodeo arena.
The pair achieved the same score in the final, running out winners of $300 cash and a brand new Akubra.
In the stockman’s challenge, competitors contested six sections, the packhorse, stock handling, shoeing, cross country, whipcracking, and a bareback obstacle course.
The top 10 open competitors, top three ladies and top three juniors then competed in the finals on Sunday.
And, challenge is the operative word, with every aspect as challenging as the next.
“The brumby catch and the bronc ride were the most fun,” Anderson said.
“But, the packhorse section was the most challenging.
It’s pretty hard not to become a better version of yourself when you’re surrounded by all those great horsemen who are happy to help you do your best.- Lance Anderson
Anderson, riding Edenhope Smokey, owned by his father, Arch Anderson, placed fourth leading in to the finals, at his fourth ever challenge after competing at the King of the Ranges in February and Rosewood in March.
The open finalists then competed in a brumby catch and buckjump with Anderson given the choice of a score or a re-ride after his first horse barely bucked.
He naturally chose the re-ride and bucked his way into second place overall.
Other Upper Hunter Valley competitors were Rachael Finlayson, her first time at Corryong, and Chris Caslick.
Their overall rankings were unavailable at the time of writing.
The ladies competition was taken out by a woman labelled the best horsewoman in Australia, having won the event for the fifth consecutive time.
Emma O’Shea and Hilite Dads Acres, known as Dude, conducted a masterclass in every event, particularly the stockhandling and the brumby catch.
Second and third in the division went to Kelsie Lupson and Ellen Forge, while in the juniors, Travis Bandy was the winner followed by Asheleigh Dodwell and Hannah Keen.
The $20,000 open first prize went to John Mitchell and Halls ChickenMan for the third time, and third to tenth as follows: Sam Webb; Adam Wheeler; David Mitchell; Chris Sherwood; Lincoln Adams; Michael Green; Kieran Davidson and Stephen Connor.