While the frosty day dawned this Mother’s Day, and some mum’s were getting breakfast in bed, others were getting ready for the Southern Eyre Hunt Club’s Mother’s Day Hunt at Pankala, just north of Arno Bay.
The beautiful coastal run, owned by Leonie and Jon Mills, Kaylene, Ali and Peter Turnbull and Greg Baker, provided a lovely array of jumps through paddocks in the hills to the salty flats of the coast and across the sprawling white sands of the lovely Eyre Peninsula.
Everyone wore a white chrysanthemum pined to their jackets, thanks to Kaylene and Maxine who went to the effort of organising such a touching tribute for Mother’s Day.
The early afternoon started off well, with 14 riders saddled and ready to go.
I was fortunate enough to acquire a ride all of my own, known as Stevie, only he has four wheels and a little more horsepower to get me to jumps before the field arrives and in position to take photos.
Master, Tarnya Branson, led the field alongside Alison Turnbull on her little go getter Walt.
Together they set a pace for the horse and car followers to keep to.
Grace Kemp on her horse Archie flew along behind them, putting the new horse through his paces.
Karen and Rochelle Milnes on Reggie and Sutty performed well, taking everything in their stride and their riders appearing to take on some of the jumps as easy as pie.
Young guns Isabella Blackshaw and Emma Doudle on Herbie and Eve were brimming with confidence and enthusiasm.
Both girls have considerable sticking power, determined, even after a tumble, to get back on with a smile.
They rode well even if Eve did give Emma a few moments where she was jumping high enough to reach the moon.
Catherine Southam proved how far she has come with her horse Phoenix by staying middle of the field and cruising around taking on jumps with excellent composure.
There was a moment of confusion however, as the car followers were slightly distracted and, in going ahead of horses to meet them at the next jump, failed to realise there was a sudden change of course from the horses, leaving the car followers picking up stray lambs and listening to crickets while waiting for the field of horses to show up.
However, after a phone call a few minutes later they turned around and took the alternate track and soon caught sight of the field again.
Things picked up as we made our way towards the beach car followers certain that the riders would meet them there.
Sure enough, the riders came through the sand hills and out into the surf with vigour.
The Master led them all at a canter through the waves, and soon enough, fines were issued to just about everyone for overtaking her at a gallop, although I can’t blame them for wanting a bit of a run on such a glorious stretch of coastline.
Stirrup Cup was had where many of the visitors and first time followers at the club were introduced and got to mingle with the riders and horses while enjoying a well-deserved coldie from the esky.
The rider after Stirrup Cup saw sisters, Jackie and Dayna Stoetzer taking on just about every jump on their horses Telle and Jackie’s borrowed horse Prince.
This was Jackie’s first hunt in 12 years and the first time she and her sister had ridden together in just as long. Both looked to thoroughly enjoy themselves.
Sheree Mills was a massive help to the followers as she kept them moving on her beloved Appy, always looking a fine hunting pair, while Lani Kemp on Murphy was out there showing that age was no barrier to enjoying yourself in this fast paced sport.
The little packet rocket gave it everything she had, especially with both mum and her grandma there to watch on this special day.
Danielle Humphries on Clover and Hayley McAndrew on Makai ambled along beautifully.
Taking jumps and always looking so determined and dedicated to ride their best, especially after a herd of horses owned by one of the landowners decided to nearly join the field from the opposite paddock.
The ride finally ended once we all collected enough dust to plant a veggie garden, and once horses were washed and rugged and given their feed, we all enjoyed the hospitality of the Mills’s and some delicious homemade soup made by Kaylene.
Next week’s hunt will be held on Sunday, May 20 at 1pm sharp, at Winndie, 10kms East of Wanilla on Bald Hill Road.
For further information check the club’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SouthernEyreHuntClubInc/ or contact Stacey on 0428 656 864.