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Ring program explodes at show

Competitor Ron Easy jumps at the Gympie Show yesterday as ring events got underway in the Pacific Honda Arena.
Competitor Ron Easy jumps at the Gympie Show yesterday as ring events got underway in the Pacific Honda Arena. Craig Warhurst

GYMPIE Show chief ring steward John Warren was a busy man yesterday, playing his role in lifting the veil on ring events in front of an eager opening day crowd.

And while yesterday’s program was full of action, Warren was quick to say today was the day not to miss.

“Friday is definitely the day where it’s all happening,” he said.

“The main classes take place today and there’s something for everyone.”

Yesterday featured height classes whereas today will see showjumping in its full splendour take to the ring.

“There’s no better jumping in the state,” Warren said.

There’s plenty of star pulling power, too, with the inclusion of two former Olympians, Ron Easy and Tim Amitrano.

Alongside the showjumping celebrities is a strong contingent of local riders, including Warren’s son Brett, and Billy Raymont of Cooroy.

John said Raymont would carry a lot of recent form into the ring at the Gympie Show following a string of high profile wins.

“He finished third in the World Cup in Sydney and also did well over in New Zealand,” he said.

The future of showjumping was also bracing for a brave debut in front of a strong Gympie crowd.

Olivia Hamwood is a young talent turning plenty of heads as she continues to prepare ahead of the Youth Olympics in Singapore come July.

Taking to the ring at the Gympie Show is an important part of Hamwood’s ongoing preparations.

“The young talent is very impressive as well, and worth seeing,” John said.

Meanwhile, the course itself in the ring is a sight to behold as competitors race the electronic clock and each other.

Designed by international course designer Leeson Seerit, who hails from Victoria, Seerit’s participation in this year’s Gympie Show ends an eight year absence.

The last time the designer applied his magic touch to the Gympie Show was back in 2002, when Gympie was proud host of the Australian Championships.

Seerit was interviewed yesterday over the sound system on the complexities of the course, and said he expected riders “would be challenged”.

Following the show, Seerit, originally from Sussex in England, will return home before jetting off to Ireland and Slovenia to construct courses for international competition.

All three days are packed with action in the ring, but today’s program is one not to be missed.

Action begins early at 7.30am in the Pacific Honda Arena with the South-East Queensland D Grade Showjumping Championship.

Gympie Times