It’s been a day of thrilling competition and heart-stopping action at EQUITANA Melbourne. Thousands queued for the first of four days of horsey heaven at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Spectators at the opening day of EQUITANA Melbourne were treated to a host of top competition across the disciplines . . . and it is only going to get better as things ramp up over the coming days.

World Champs representative Chris Chugg was rock solid aboard his nine-year-old Selle Francais mare KG Queenie, taking out the 48-strong Horseware Australia 1.4m Jumping Prelude. Eleven combinations came back for the jump-off with seven of those finishing with clean slates.

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Ballarat racing trainer Matt Cumani was in his element at EQUITANA Melbourne, checking out potential ponies for his first child – who is due just days before Christmas, looking for ice boots for his race horses and loving watching off the track horses thriving in their new surrounds.

He’s from blue blood of racing and the third generation in his family to train, albeit dad Luca trained in the UK and grandfather Sergio in Italy. The racing ambassador, brother of the very glamorous Channel 7 presenter Francesca, was one of thousands at EQUITANA Melbourne’s opening day. “There’s something about the smell of horses mixed with freshly cooked donuts and coffee that reminds me of my childhood,” he says.

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Congratulations to the finalists in the EQUITANA Melbourne Innovation Awards. We received a large amount of entries across both sections and the quality was very high. Keep an eye out on facebook as we interview and share videos on our finalists.

On Friday our winner / runner up will be notified to attend the Awards Presentation Night at 6.30pm Saturday Night...

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This year brings an exciting all-new 2018 McDowells Brumby Challenge to EQUITANA Melbourne. We look behind the scenes and have a chat with Colleen O’Brien, the woman who has driven an awareness and passion for Australia’s wild horses that has seen more than 500 Brumbies saved since 2007.

Colleen

It started with a love of horses and has grown into a lifestyle. Colleen O’Brien is a volunteer – albeit one who has spent nearly every day of the past 11 years helping Brumbies...

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