Innovations at mountain event

THERE was more than just horses and riders at the first day of the Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen's Association get-together yesterday, as a new dog jumping event and sheep were added to the mix.

The 27th annual get-together at the Rough Paddock, at Penstock, saw horse lovers from across the state converge to promote the traditions and values of the high country mountain cattlemen.

The get-together's most prestigious championship was won by Alice Hirst, 18, of Westbury, on her horse Snort, while the junior competition was won by David Gardiner, 15, of Smithton, on Lady Lena.

The competitions included three phases and replicated what mountain cattlemen used to do as part of their day-to-day work, such as rounding up sheep.

Association secretary Sandra Rybarczyk said this year was the first time competitors had been required to round up seven sheep each, as cattle were used in previous years.

Mrs Rybarczyk said a dog high jump competition was also introduced this year, which had three categories for different-sized dogs.

``There was a lot of interest in that, so it will keep going,'' she said.

The get-together concludes today with almost 250 riders taking on the traditional trail ride.

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