There’s a “buzz” in the horse world with talk of a steed who came from humble beginnings but has galloped to the top.
A clydie-thoroughbred cross from Corowa, bought for $500, has claimed third place in the Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout at Royal Melbourne Show.
The most prestigious ladies’ riding event in Australia attracted 43 entries in its 75th year.
The Garryowen trophy is awarded in memory of champion hack Garryowen whose owner Violet Murrell, one of Victoria’s foremost horse women, died at 29 trying to save him from a stable fire in 1934.
Certainly Buzz and his owner, Sarah Love, deserve a place among such hallowed company.
The pair epitomise Violet Murrell and Garryowen’s all-round equestrian prowess.
Mrs Love and Tulloch Ard, as he is officially known, have a skill set as diverse as it is impressive — and their vast range of achievements extends beyond the show ring.
Together the pair hunt all winter before taking on dressage competitions and shows in the spring and summer. They’ve even dabbled with eventing.
The 16.2hh Buzz has come a long way in a short time.
Mrs Love’s father picked him up at a far east Gippsland property while he was buying cattle.
At his first event, the Northern Hunter Show in 2004, he was champion novice and champion open hunter on the flat.
In dressage, Buzz and Mrs Love have gone from preliminary to prix st
georges in just four years.
She said weekly lessons with Rutherglen dressage instructor Sandra Rosenbrock had made a huge difference.
“I owe it all to her,” Mrs Love said.
Prior to the Royal Melbourne Show, Buzz completed two prix st georges tests and won two advanced tests at Werribee.
At Melbourne Mrs Love won the lady rider class and was named reserve champion lady rider riding Buzz.
Buzz also took out medium hunter on the flat and champion hunter on the flat.
The third place in the Garryowen was backed up by a second in the Esquire Equestrienne Turnout.
Certainly Mrs Love has stepped up the ranks since her first entry in the Garryowen in 1981.
“In 1981 I went in it and came last,” she said.
The then 19-year-old was on the Victorian golfing circuit for 20 years. Since giving that away she’s had more time to focus on her horses and this year, at 46, she had another go — in the same outfit.
On another of her horses, Marlo, Mrs Love took home team event trophies at Melbourne with fellow Murray Valley Hunt Club members.
She hunts with the club each weekend through winter — and is ranked a whipper-in.
Buzz’s list of accolades is endless, but includes three-times champion hunter on the flat at Barastoc Horse of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Buzz has the temperament to go with his talent.
Mrs Love even loaned him to others at Melbourne, including Table Top’s Malcolm MacRae who was sashed reserve champion gentlemen rider with Buzz.
“I also lent him to a little girl from Nimbin, Elizabeth Hoy,” Ms Love said.
“She got on him 10 minutes beforehand.
“She went out and won her riding competition and was sashed reserve champion rider under 15.
“She’s normally on a pony.
“She was a brilliant rider.”
Mrs Love is back in the saddle on Buzz this weekend at the State Show Horse Titles at Werribee.
“I don’t know if he’ll get to grand prix,” she said.
“He’s got the temperament but I’m not sure he’s got the movement.”