As the sun rose over Lyndoch Equestrian Centre at the weekend of September 16 and 17, barrel racers and their horses prepared for a clinic with Vicki Schiller.
The four-time Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Australian All Round Cowgirl and four-time WPRA Australian Barrel Racing Champion attracted a number of newcomers and seasoned racers to the clinic.
Vicki is both an accomplished rider and instructor, having bred and trained rodeo horses for both herself and fellow competitors for most of her life.
Some of Vicki’s other achievements include 10-time NSW All Round Champion, Barrel Racing Champion and Breakaway Champion, 25-time WPRA NFR average winner in barrels and breakaway roping, she was the 2006 and 2009 ABCRA NDR Average winner in breakaway roping and twice the ABHA Classic Winner.
Lyndoch Equestrian Centre owner Bridgette Hasting said with two great days of training, everyone who attended was able to learn something and have the tools to take home and train more.
“Each and every horse and rider improved inside the two days,” Ms Hasting said.
“Vicki’s style of teaching is awesome. She explains her methods in a way we can all understand, no matter the level of experience. Vicki’s clinic was attended by some new comers to barrel racing as well as seasoned competitors.”
She said this clinic was a great opportunity for the participants.
“Training a barrel racing horse can take as long as a few years to have them running a pattern nice and fast. Barrel racing in South Australia is not huge. As competitors we are always encouraging more people to come out and have go at it. Being able to meet and spend time with some one of Vicki’s level of experience encourages the rest of us to aim for the Australian Barrel Racing Finals.”
Ms Hasting said they planned to host more clinics throughout the year – not just barrel racing or ‘western’ type events.
Initially building the facilities for themselves, Ms Hasting said they were soon approached by a few clubs to hire the arena for club events. From this moment, it continued to grow.
“We work hard to make sure our grounds are prepared well for everyone. Since we built our arena nearly five years ago, we have hosted the Quarter Horse Association of SA for their monthly show, SA Reining Horse Club have held training days and shows and the SA Barrel Horse Association have held many barrel race competitions. Aside from those events I have organized Bill Willoughby, Wendy Caban and most recently Vicki Schiller. Their knowledge and experience is impressive.”
The clinic with Vicki followed the Australian Barrel Racing Finals where several local riders took part.
With more than 500 competitors, six South Australians made the trip to NSW for the national event – Vicki was also a competitor.
India Woods from Peterborough placed third in fourth Division in the Open on her horse DA, and second in the third division in the Junior’s on her horse Vue.
Tanisha Towner from Kapunda placed in Division 3 in the Open and Ms Hasting placed second in Division 8 in the Open.
Hayley Rogers cracked a personal best, as did Alana Pitts and Renee Kent.
“Our SA girls did not disappoint at the finals. If anyone would like to get involved in barrel racing – do not hesitate to come out and try it. Barrel racing is not just for ladies riding Quarter Horses in western saddles. It is a sport anyone with any horse can compete in,” Ms Hasting said.
Riders at the clinic visited from Marree, Strathalbyn, Flaxmans Valley, Springton, Gawler Belt, Mallala, Lyndoch, Tanunda, Nuriootpa, Riverton and Wasleys.