Our man takes on Snowy

April 08, 2017

Bruno Robinson took out the title of rookie rider at the 2017 Corryong Man from Snowy River Bush Festival.

ECHUCA horsemen travelled four hours to Corryong, Victoria, on Thursday for the Man from Snowy River Bush Festival.

Each year the four-day festival attracts riders from around Australia, some as far a field as Northern Queensland, to compete in the $80,000 Man from Snowy River Challenge.

It’s the ultimate test of all-round horsemanship and this year Echuca’s Bruno Robinson took out the 2017 rookie rider award.

Echuca’s Dean Oliver, Rocky Acquisto and Kyle Newton also competed in the challenge and met a lot of competitors throughout the festival.

The rookie himself thought he had ‘‘gone all right’’ — which was an understatement to say the least.

‘‘I have been around horses since I was about 10,’’ Robinson said.

‘‘I’ve done a lot of camp draft competitions and always enjoyed riding through the bush.

‘‘I decided to give challenges a go and after a few smaller ones, which I really enjoyed, thought I’d give the big one a crack.’’

Robinson, 28, competed against 14 other riders all in their first challenge, with around 70 riders competing in total, in a series of events to determine the best all-rounder.

The events included whip cracking (freestyle and target), a pack horse event, shoeing, a bare-back obstacle course ride and free ride, cattle handling on horseback and a cross-country ride to finish the challenge.

As a farrier, shoeing a horse came naturally but he enjoyed every event and did well enough in each to take out the rookie title.

‘‘It was a difficult cross-country course and the horse I was riding had only done it once before,’’ Robinson said.

‘‘It’s definitely something I’d go back and do again and this time I want to keep training and see if I can go even better.’’

Robinson was riding Classic Doc, owned by Steve Haydon, who had been a champion camp draft horse in Warwick.

‘‘I’ll probably continue to do a lot of bush riding and log jumping and practice more tricky tasks with horses like going through gates before the next one,’’ Robinson said.

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