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Students saddle up for Katherine show

CDU VET students recently competed in a range of equestrian events at the Katherine Show.

Students at Charles Darwin University (CDU)’s Katherine campus have saddled up for the Katherine Show taking home a number of awards and displaying their expertise in handling horses.

Four students who are completing their Certificate III in Rural Operations, Taylah Dehne, Kristy Gamble, Corey Hay and Charli Simmons competed in a range of events for the first time including, Registered Australian Stock Horse and Australian Quarter Horse.

Katherine local Taylah Dehne won four ribbons, First for Best Presented Rider Australian Stock Horse (ASH), Second in Best Presented ASH led in her age category, Third in ASH Rider and Third in Australian Quarter Horse Led Mare.

Ms Dehne is one of this year’s Northern Territory Training Award finalists for VET in School Students of the Year.

“We worked pretty hard for this day, getting the horses ready so it’s good to finally be here, competing and seeing everyone winning something has been the highlight of the week so far,” Ms Dehne said.

Charli Simmons won two ribbons and came second in Australian Quarter Horse Gelding, while Corey Hay came first in Australian Stock Horse Rider, and Kristy Gamble won four ribbons.

“It’s is my first-time showing horses and a very different experience to being on campus. It was a bit intimidating showing in front of so many people but an incredible experience,” Ms Gamble said.

CDU VET Lecturer Russell Young said that many of the events were quite technical, displaying the knowledge and skills of the students in handling horses.

“The students signed up for a six-week intensive program to complete their training and acquire the skills and confidence to be able to compete at this level,” Mr Young said.

“Our students work really hard to get ready for the show each year - there is a lot of extra study to be able to master both the theory and practical side of this unit.”

Associate Vice-Chancellor Katherine and Big Rivers Alison Haines said last year was tough for many Agriculture and Rural Operations students who missed out on participating in local shows due to lockdown and restrictions from COVID-19.

“The Katherine team is feeling extra lucky that they get to share their talents with the community this year,” Mrs Haines said.

“We’re so pleased with how the competition has started and we’re looking forward to seeing what else our students can do.”

CDU’s highly competitive Cattle team have also won ribbons in their events at the Katherine Show and will be travelling to Darwin for the upcoming Darwin Show.