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Torrumbarry rider lovers the show ring

Torrumbarry rider India Mitchell on Royalwood Central has has been competing successfully at many levels recently.

GEORDIE COWAN June 19, 2014 3:01am

Torrumbarry rider India Mitchell has been experiencing a purple patch in the show ring in the past six months.

With her six-year-old horse Royalwood Central, otherwise known as Troy, the 21-year-old has maintained a consistent presence among the higher place-getters at many events.

‘‘I’m very pleased with my results this season,’’ Mitchell said,

‘‘It has been fantastic to see all the hard work that I have put in pay off.’’

In November, Mitchell and Troy finished runner-up small hack at the Show Horse Council of Victoria Southern Stars show, which qualified them for the 2014 Grand Nationals at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre.

The success continued at the Canberra Royal Show where, among other placings, they won the champion led Arabian derivative gelding and champion ridden Arabian horse categories.

They then travelled to Boneo Park at Rosebud, where Troy was sashed champion small hack, among strong company, which qualified them for the 2015 Grand Nationals.

Next stop was the Royal Sydney Easter Show, which is comfortably the strongest royal show in Australia.

Troy and India performed well to win the novice hack 15 to 15.2hh and other placings, the highlight of which was fourth in the ladies hack over 15hh, which had more than 70 competitors.

Mitchell rated her win at Rosebud, in the SHCV Autumn Classic, as the most meaningful.

‘‘I was there by myself and did all of the preparation without a strapper or any support crew,’’ she said.

‘‘To come out on top in that class, against many of the best riders, I felt that I had truly proved that Troy and I really have a place among the best of the small hacks in Australia.’’

Mitchell and her mother, Sally, bought Troy, a riding pony thoroughbred cross gelding, as a two-year-old for Mitchell’s 18th birthday.

‘‘He is now six and a pleasure to own and work with,’’ Mitchell said.

‘‘We have had a long road to where we are now, but with four years of training undergone, he is now established and very sweet to ride.

‘‘Like any horse, he has issues that still need work, but he has come along so far, particularly in the last six months.

‘‘He also has the most beautiful canter to ride.’’

Mitchell said Troy had become more enjoyable to work with, under saddle and on the ground, as he has matured.

‘‘He does have a terrible habit of eating anything that’s not allowed, so we can’t leave anything near him,’’ she said.

‘‘He loves to destroy his rugs, which are receiving constant repairs and he has an unfortunate habit of sticking his tongue out the side of his mouth.

‘‘I love his personality and his intelligence — he is my dream horse and has enabled me to achieve things I would never achieve with another mount.’’

Mitchell is a member of Bamawm Extension Pony Club and is completing her pony club B certificate.

Studying her masters of architecture at Melbourne University, Mitchell is resting Troy during winter and will resume competition in spring at the Royal Melbourne Show where, among other classes, they will compete in the famous Garryowen trophy.

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