When young bucks rule at the masters
By STEVE SPINKS firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN running becomes difficult what's the best sport to play at the Masters Games? Equestrian, of course. Twenty-five horse enthusiasts competed during two days at the Bangalow Showground in the fourth Lismore Workers Club Masters Games. Equestrian is the only sport played outside of Lismore during the three-day sporting bonanza which has attracted more than 1900 participants this year. Riders competed in 40, 50 and 60-plus age divisions, with Anne McDiarmid, of Alstonville, the most successful participant. She won three gold medals in the 40-plus category in the novice, elementary and freestyle dressage. But having equestrian at the Masters does beg the question . . . do the horses have to be old as well? "No," chuckled equestrian organiser Toni Appleton. "It's a funny thought and we did have some wonderful old horses here, but there is no age limit on them." Imagine poor old horses having to compete in the show jumping part of equestrian, the jumps would need to be a little bit lower than normal. The other unique feature of equestrian is that it is the only sport at the Masters Games in which men and women compete against each other. "It's not just the Masters," Appleton said. "Besides yachting, it's the only sport at the Olympics as well." And it was the ladies cleaning up at Bangalow. Besides McDiarmid, Appleton, of Goonengerry, took home two gold and three silver medals and Joan Peachey, from New Italy, also won numerous medals. The competitors all camped overnight at the showground making sure there was a real camaraderie between the riders. And you can bet the riders aren't feeling quite as sore this morning as those other Masters who had to run around in the unseasonal September heat to compete in their sport.