Penola Hunt Club hosts state hunt

STATE HUNT: The Penola Hunt Club will host the State Hunt this year. Picture: SUPPLIED

Charlotte Varcoe

THE Penola Hunt Club will host the State Hunt for the first time since 2018.

Many from across South Australia will travel to the region later this year to participate in the annual event held at Mount Benson.

Penola Hunt Club master Jenna Bignell said it was great timing after the club celebrated 60 years last year.

“The club has been around for quite a long time and basically we go to different properties around the South East and jump over walls and other things like that,” Ms Bignell said.

“I am currently the master and the rest follow behind me where we jump over different things like logs around beautiful properties.”

With about 20 riders currently involved in the club, Ms Bignell said the sport was struggling.

“Hunting as a sport is struggling mainly because I think there is so much other stuff going on,” she said.

“There is so much horse stuff that you can attend on a weekend and a lot of people compete, not just us so there are quite a few clubs which are struggling.”

The sport does still attract spectators however.

“We have a lot of people who come and watch,” she said.

“At our last event we had about 40 people there so there were nearly as many spectators as there were riders but the group is really good because it is not a competition, it is just about having a good time.”

Ms Bignell said if riders did not want to jump they did not have to and were able to just ride around.

“It is all about people bettering themselves and people start off by jumping the smaller stuff but by the end of it they are jumping a lot of the bigger stuff,” she said.

“It is nice not to have a competitive atmosphere and having it more as a relaxed thing where everyone is in it together.”

Ms Bignell said each year the different clubs across South Australia would host the state hunt with last year club members travelled to Kangaroo Island for the annual event.

“It is a time when all the clubs come together and have one big event,” shew said.

“This year will be my first year doing a state hunt as master so I am also looking forward to that because it will be quite a bit different to previous events.

“We are looking at about 60 or 70 riders which is what I am most looking forward to and the property where we are hunting is beautiful with lots of jumps which should be good.”

The event will be held over the June long weekend with those wishing to go and watch able to by contacting the Penola Hunt Club.