BUNGENDORE played host to some of the finest equestrian riders in the country last weekend as 150 competitors converged on the town's showground for the NSW Mounted Games state championships.
And local riders proved more than a match for their inter-state rivals at the two-day tournament with a host of representatives from Queanbeyan, Bungendore and surrounds putting in impressive performances.
Teams representing Zone 16 - an area encompassing Queanbeyan and Bungendore - claimed both this year's junior and senior state team titles.
In the juniors, the Wamboin Warriors - led by Australian representative Penny Slater - proved their 2011 triumph was no fluke as they backed up to make it successive state championships.
The Zone 16 Black Sheep meanwhile, also emerged victorious in the senior category. Belying their moniker, the Black Sheep were almost perfect in producing a score of 97 out of a possible 100. Zone 16's Team Extreme finished in third.
"Considering how cold the weather was, it actually went really well," Zone 16 chief instructor and president of the NSW Pony Club Di Cullen said. "The games and competitions were keenly contested over the two days.
"We [Zone 16] haven't won both titles for a while so that's certainly a great achievement."
But it wasn't all good news with Cullen acknowledging last weekend's event had experienced a drop-off in competitor numbers from previous years, continuing a recent trend,
"The numbers were definitely a bit down on what we would usually get," she said. "We used to get 40-odd teams competing but the last couple of years people haven't been travelling as much.
"Even from within our own zone it was a smaller turnout than in previous years but we've got a lot of young riders coming through at the moment so in the next couple of years we should be back up there."
The Bungendore Pony Club's next major event will be the Zone Dressage Championships which will be held at the Bungendore Showground in the first weekend of November.