Meet your 40th Scone Horse Festival VIP, Young Achiever and Horse of the Year

Jane and Malcom Kennedy (Horse of the Year), Ashley Randle (Young Achiever) and Mike Pritchard (VIP). Photo: Magic Lantern Photography
Jane and Malcom Kennedy (Horse of the Year), Ashley Randle (Young Achiever) and Mike Pritchard (VIP). Photo: Magic Lantern Photography

SCONE Horse Festival has officially commenced.

The 2021 Scone Horse Festival was launched in style on Friday night with a VIP awards evening hosted by Arrowfield Stud.

Award winners for Scone Horse Festival VIP, Young Achiever and Horse of the Year were announced.

Congratulations to the winners for 2021!

Scone Horse Festival VIP - Mike Pritchard

The VIP for 2021 is Mike Pritchard and Scone Horse Festival President David Gatwood said to include his list of achievements would be an epic task.

He was one of the four gentlemen originally responsible for creating the Scone Horse Festival from the Scone Cup.

Forty one years later he is still actively involved on the Scone Horse Festival committee.

A well-known face in the Upper Hunter and the voice for listeners on ABC Upper Hunter as a breakfast presenter and a rural reporter, Mike Pritchard has been involved with the Scone Horse Festival since its inception in 1980.

He was the first presenter to work at ABC Upper Hunter, which was established in 1990.

Mike is well known for taking to the microphone and volunteering his time as an MC during the annual Scone Horse Festival parade, and countless other events. He is passionate advocate for the Upper Hunter.

Scone Horse Festival Young Achiever - Ashley Randle

Born and raised in Scone, Ashley has grown up in the saddle and has competed in many different disciplines over the years with her specialty being eventing.

In 2015 Ashley was NSW State Champion in Pony Club Eventing and followed this up as Reserve State Champion in 2016.

Ashley has represented at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on the Pony Club Showjumping team and was also a member of the NSW State Team to compete at Pony Club Nationals in 2017 in Toowoomba.

In 2018 Ashley was a member of the winning high school team in the 6 Bar showjumping competition at the Coonabarabran Horse Expo and was also shortlisted for the NSW State Team for National competition in Sydney.

Ashley and her horse ''Highlands Mr Henrysee" have been awarded the National Connemara Sporthorse Title over all comers in all disciplines and have also achieved their Gold Status, the highest level of achievement within Australia for Connemara ponies and Sporthorses.

Over the years Ashley has also competed in the King of the Ranges Stockmans Challenge both at Pony Club level and then progressing to the Junior competition and now Novice division of the Open Challenge.

In 2019 Ashley won the Novice division Cross Country phase, placed 2nd in the Bareback phase and was awarded the Gear Check division for presentation and fitness.

In 2020 Ashley was the only lady to qualify for the Novice Final at the King of the Ranges Stockmans Challenge, ultimately finishing a very creditable 4th against the men.

Scone Horse Festival Horse of the Year - Jabell Shekera Spin

Quarter Horse Jabell Shekera Spin, owned by Jane and Maclom Kennedy, is the 2021 Scone Horse Festival Horse of the Year.

Purchased in 2013 by Malcolm and Jane Kennedy at the Landmark Classic Campdraft Sale, Jabell Shekera Spin's impressive performance record includes winning the ladies category in the Tamworth Campdraft with a near perfect score of 99 that same year.

'Shekera' won the open at the Scone Campdraft and Cassilis Campdraft in 2014 and was named the Australian Quarter Horse Association High Campdraft Horse of the Year.

In 2015, 'Shekera' won round two of the Warrick Gold Cup, with a round one score of 89.

In 2019, 'Shekera' was crowned the Australian Bushmen's Campdraft and Rodeo Association Nationals Open Final Horse of the Year.

Ridden by Troy Palmer, the duo won the 2021 World Championship Campdraft held at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Taking out the Round 6 win with a score of 91 made them the overall winner of the His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester Perpetual Cup, and they were also the winner of the Tyrrell's Vineyards Perpetual Trophy for the highest aggregate cut out score throughout the World Championship Campdraft.

Troy and 'Shekera' also won the 2018 ABCRA Campdraft Open Horse of the Year.

This story Meet your 40th Scone Horse Festival award winners first appeared on The Scone Advocate.