27 April, 2023

Top-four placing for Neurum rider in Victoria

NEURUM-BASED horse rider Naomi Lee gained a fourth placing and another top-10 placing in Australia’s Greatest Horsewoman Competition, held in the Victorian town of Tatura from March 29 to April 1.

By Liam Hauser

Naomi Lee rides her horse named Red in the reined cow horse event in Australia’s Greatest Horsewoman Competition
Naomi Lee rides her horse named Red in the reined cow horse event in Australia’s Greatest Horsewoman Competition

Naomi also earned a runner-up placing in Dalby as she competed in another riding event on her way back home.

As the event in Tatura was Naomi’s main focus, about 500 spectators packed the arena, with Naomi saying it was “a really good atmosphere” while the crowd cheered on the riders including the Queensland contingent.

It was the second time the event had been held, and the first time Naomi took part in it. Having competed at various locations in Australia and the US, Naomi said Australia’s Greatest Horsewoman Competition was the first all-female event she had competed in.

Naomi and one of her friends took two days to drive to Tatura, and they stayed overnight at Coonabarabran while sleeping in a swag at the showgrounds.

Despite the competitive nature of the event, Naomi said the riders helped and encouraged each other and that “it was really nice in that respect”.

The Neurum rider competed in the Rein in Pink and Australia’s Greatest Horsewoman categories, featuring three qualifying events before the top 10 point scorers out of 31 competitors reached the finals.

Riding her horse named Red, Naomi placed third in Rein in Pink and fourth overall.

With her other horse named Flash, Naomi placed in the top 10 in Australia’s Greatest Horsewoman Competition although there was some confusion with the scores.

Naomi said she achieved her goal of a top-10 placing with both of her horses, and was “really surprised and excited and happy” with her placings.

A group of Naomi’s friends travelled from southern Queensland to support her while her mum made the trip from Adelaide.

“It was really exciting to have all my friends travel down and be there with me,” she said.

By her own admission, Naomi felt a lot of pressure as she didn’t want to let her supporters down, after the time and effort she put into her preparation.

“I’m really proud of both horses,” she said.

“They handled the pressure a lot better than I did.”

Naomi had been in a dilemma as to whether she would use Red or Flash, but in the end she chose to use both horses because she “felt both horses had the talent”.

The Neurum rider said she also intended to compete in next year’s Australia’s Greatest Horsewoman Competition, with the benefit of this year’s experience under her belt.

Following the four-day event in Victoria, Naomi and her friend stayed overnight in Parkes and Goondiwindi, before Naomi competed in the Australian Reining Breeders Classic (ARBC) event.

Naomi said she enjoyed Parkes, including ‘The Dish’ which she had seen in a movie.

The Neurum rider placed second in the rookie professional reining category as she rode Red, finishing narrowly behind the victor.

Naomi said it was pleasing to gain a high placing but also a little frustrating to fall just shy of top spot as she “really wanted to win”.

“That’s competitive life,” she said.

“There’s so many variables, especially with horses.

“Something might spook a horse.

“You prepare as much as you can, but there’s random things that can throw you out.”

Next, Naomi said she aimed to compete in the Tropicana Classic Western Spectacular Show in Caboolture, in early July.


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