MAIN Ridge Pony Club and Nepean Equestrian Club members were jumping for joy at the opening of their water jump complex at the Main Ridge Equestrian Ground, Baldry’s Rd, last Friday (December 11).
This comes after a year of appealing for help from the community, businesses and organisations for the project which was identified by a government study as an essential component of the environmental protection at the ground.
“Its achievement – only 12 months on – is very much thanks to the many partners who came on board, especially businesses and individuals who donated money, materials and/or labour, to get the job done,” pony club president Dean Jones said.
The water jump, with hoof cleaning station, will enhance the cross country course and protect the environmental integrity of the reserve which is bordered on two sides by Greens Bush.
“The pony club has been meeting at the ground since 1968 when the land was set aside by the Green family for equestrian use,” Mr Jones said.
“Not much has changed in nearly 50 years. The setting is as beautiful as ever, and the cross country jumps just as challenging.
“But what has changed is how we look after this special environment, for ourselves and for the future.”
The major threat to the ground is from phytophthora cinnamomi, a soil-borne water mould producing dieback or root rot in plants.
“This species had the potential to severely damage the ground and to spread into the national park and it was necessary to take measures quickly,” Mr Jones said.
This meant moving the old water jump out of the bush area and installing the hoof cleaning station to remove the pathogen from the ground.
“The creation of a water jump was a significant and costly undertaking for community clubs such as ourselves, which is where the wider community came to our rescue.”