Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

A kingdom for their horses

While many teenagers are off enjoying beach or river holidays this summer, good mates Abby Pedretti and Ashlee Slavich will probably be shovelling horse poo.

CATHY WALKER January 8, 2013 4:10am

Ashlee Slavich and Abby Pedretti with Abby’s chestnut Revin’ It Up, have dreams of making it on the international stage in horse trials.


Abby, 15, from Tallygaroopna and Ashlee, also 15, from nearby Bunbartha are passionate about competing in horse trials.

This May will be one of their pinnacles when they compete for the North Eastern Zone in the Pony Club Association’s Horse Trials State Championships, which will be hosted by the Northern Zone at Deniliquin.

‘‘The jumps aren’t getting bigger but they are getting a lot more technical,’’ Abby said.

The two Shepparton Pony Club members have lots of time to prepare. But you can never have too much practice, or exposure to the experts — especially when the ultimate dream is to ride for Australia.

Which is why Ashlee and Abby will skip the beach to spend a week this month with Beijing Olympian Heath Ryan at his Heatherbrae property, near Newcastle, NSW.

And as ‘‘working pupils’’ they will expect to begin at the ground up — literally.

Mr Ryan, who more recently has specialised in dressage, has been the Australian Three-Day Event Champion three times and has a host of national and international performances and team coaching to his name.

Before that trip, the girls will spend two days this week at a clinic at Mansfield with equally decorated Olympic event riders Amanda Ross and Megan Jones.

They hope the visit to the Ryan stables will give them an understanding of what it’s like to be a working pupil, and is something they’ll be able to repeat in the future.

Both Abby and Ashlee plan to work with horses when they finish school — although as one of their mothers lamented ‘‘their parents are trying to get them to get a career that might earn some money’’.

comments powered by Disqus
Shepparton logo

Explosive device found at Kaarimba: video

Police are currently at a location in Kaarimba examining what they say appears to be an improvised explosive device.

shepp mags

The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.

Echuca mag

Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.


Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.


Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.