Eager Walt offers entertainment

Winter sunshine was welcomed by the riders of the Southern Eyre Hunt Club as they arrived at the Pankala run, 17 kilometres north of Arno Bay.

It was nice to see crops finally raising from the soil and while the milder temperatures were welcome, there would have been no complaints had there been a downpour or two.

The day started well, with master Tarnya Branson, who was celebrating her birthday, leading the way on the gentle and educated Midge.

Following her was Alison Turnbull on her pocket rocket Walt, who was keen and enthusiastic about his first hunt of the season.

Turnbull and Walt provided most of the entertainment of the day. At one point, there was a panicked yell of "May I have permission to dismount master?!" as her saddle slipped and she aptly landed on her feet, dismounting side-saddle style, all before the master could turn around and see what the fuss was about.

Turnbull made sure Walt was not holding his breath this time as she did his girth up a few more notches.

Emma Doudle on Dancer was the most photogenic rider of the day, riding well as Dancer jumped beautifully.

The two riders that proved they make the best pair hunting together were Sarah Hare on Walter, who rode with the grace of a lady all day, and Alex Kerley on Willow, who, while having some issues moving forward to start with, was cruising along well by the second half.

There were a few moments where a certain brumby and his rider should have earned a fine or two.

Spectators giggled as a few cuss words were let loose as the enthusiastic Walt (with his big heart) took on some of the larger logs at a springy pace. Turnbull has gone from hunting her larger, and perhaps a little less zippy, Archie, all season to something considerably smaller and a little more eager in Walt.

Understandably, some of those jumps must have looked a bit bigger being closer to the ground than she was accustomed too.

After a canter and a cool walk through the waves on the beach, (where Walt pretty much body-surfed) everyone's over-excitement cooled and then refreshments at Stirrup Cup were most welcomed.

Young Shadya Kerley was a little disappointed that she did not get to ride Walter on the second half, as it was decided that Hare and Walter would continue to stick close to Alex and Willow, so she had to make do with being in the photographer's car instead but she got some great photographs of the day.

The second half of the hunt went smoothly, aside from some last minute mustering of rogue sheep that had escaped their paddock, and everyone retired to look after their horses.

Afternoon tea was delightful, with a delicious soup cooked by Kaylene Turnbull and a surprise birthday cake, prepared for the master by Kathryn Doudle.

Next week's hunt is at Limestone, 2km south of Wangary on Saturday, July 13 at 2pm sharp. For more information, go to facebook.com/SouthernEyreHuntClubInc/ Tally Ho!