This year’s event marks the 56th running of the title, which commenced at Deniliquin in 1960 on the NSW Riverina.
The very first winner was Kevin Bacon on Ocean Foam. Since then a competition has been held each year except 1981 throughout Australia and the names of the winning horses and riders represent a “who’s who” of the sport.
The event has been held across Australia, except for in Tasmania. NSW has hosted the event 20 times, followed by Victoria 13 times, Queensland and Western Australia six times and South Australia and the ACT four times each.
Some of our best riders have been fortunate enough to win this event more than once. Jeff Evans, Les Brunning, Peter Mullins, Rod Brown and Vicki Roycroft have each won the event two times. Art Utyendaal, George Sanna and Kevin Bacon have won three times. Gavin Chester and Guy Creighton triumphed on four occasions. John Fahey and Chris Chugg have won this event an amazing five times.
Not only have riders won many times, we also have a handful of great horses who have won multiple times. Another Flood, Cygnet Rambler, Rossmore and Silvaneer have each won the championship twice. The great Vivant ridden by Chris Chugg has taken the title on no less than three occasions.
2016 saw Jamie Kermon and Yandoo Oaks Constellation take out the Senior Rider Title. Kermond cleared fences of 1.60m in challenging weather conditions to take the crown.