Briony Randle (nee Payne), Pakenham South, has been awarded the top prize in the prestigious Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout on board former racehorse Entourage, at the Royal Melbourne Show earlier today.
Conducted annually by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) as part of the Horses in Action Program, 29 talented riders competed for the highly sought after accolade at Melbourne Showgrounds, in front of an enthralled crowd.
Whilst the occasion marks the first Garryowen win for Briony, 33, who has competed in the event for seven years, the horse and rider combination were victorious in last year’s Racing Victoria Pope Cup, another of the feature classes of the Royal Melbourne Show.
The Garryowen which was first held in 1934, honours Mrs Violet Murrell, who tragically died at age 29 while trying to save her three-time Royal Melbourne Show champion saddle horse, ‘Garryowen’, from a stable fire in 1934.
As the winner of the Garryowen, Briony received a gift prize from premier sponsor Stubbs England, a 9 carat gold diamond encrusted pin, generously donated by Sally Murrell-Rich with a custom designed glass dining-ware set from Marguerite Dore, both grandnieces of Mrs Murrell; a watercolour portrait of the winning horse by Jason Roberts; a trophy rug, a garland donated by HM Garlands and a replica of the perpetual Garryowen trophy.
Second place was awarded to Jess Stalling on Taittinger, who also took out Best First Year Rider honours, with third place awarded to Rebecca Farrow on Stage Presence.
RASV CEO Mark O’Sullivan said the event was one of the highlights of the Royal Melbourne Show this year and congratulated Briony on her outstanding achievement.
“The Garryowen is the most prestigious female riding event in the country, so it attracts the very best female equestrienne riders,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
“We congratulate all participants in today’s event, as the quality of competition was outstanding. We are delighted to present Briony as today’s winner, who will join a list of exceptionally talented riders.”
Other sash winners included Rose McEvoy on Towering Inferno in fourth place, Michelle Paynter on DP Amazing in fifth place and Penny Ahern on Broadway Duntroon in sixth place.
The event is open to female riders aged 18 years and over and a panel of six experts judged each rider and horse on conformation and soundness; manners and paces; saddlery; costume; riding ability; and general appearance.
The Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout was part of the Royal Melbourne Show’s dedicated turnout day, which also included the Esquire, John Lithgow, J. Pemberton and K.G Luke turnouts.