30 July 2015
Despite the bitter cold, many Assumption equestrians decided to camp out at the Werribee Equestrian Centre during the school holidays to compete against riders from around the state in the Equestrian Victoria State Interschool Championships.
All riders represented their school with pride and acquitted themselves well as they attempted to qualify for the Equestrian Australia National Interschool Championships later in the year.
Here are some of the riders' accounts of their experiences - first up, Cassidy Neubauer, who rode Running Waters Lleu Llaw (known as Louie):
“Well, what can I say, I'm actually in love with my pony. Out of a class of 76-plus competitors, Louie and I managed to become reserve champion of the whole state. So, so proud of him; all our hard work paying off. Can't wait till next year!"
Well done Cassidy and Louie, state reserve champions in the secondary 75cm showjumping.
Also achieving the marvellous result of state reserve champion on one of her horses was Haylea Wright. Here's her account of an exciting but challenging week:
"I took three horses down Sunday night and stayed at Werribee Park for the week. On the Monday I competed on all three horses in the preliminary dressage section. Kai (my four year old filly) doing her first dressage test placed 8th in the 1.2 and 14th in the 1.3, leaving Kai and me 11th overall in the section of 30 riders.
"Diamond Dot (Dottie) and I were first in the 1.2 and second in the 1.3 leaving us champion for our section. As there were four prelim sections (120 horse and rider combinations) an overall champion and reserve needed to be decided so the first, second and third placegetters from each sections went into a ride off (12 riders in total). Dottie and I rode our way into the reserve champion for the preliminary in the whole state! Double Life (Tommy) and I were second in the 1.2 and third in the 1.3 which put us as reserve champion for the section.
" This should have gained us a place in the ride-off but they mixed up our percentage, and until we went and showed the judges my test, with my actual percentage, they thought I had a lower percentage. By this time it was too late to ride Tommy in the ride-off. I was grateful, though, that I could still ride Dottie in the ride-off. Everybody makes mistakes.
"On Tuesday I heard my name over the loudspeaker, went to the office and was greeted by the lovely ladies who helped me the previous night with the scoring muddle-up. They gave me a woollen rug to say sorry for their mistake and to thank me for being so understanding about it all. This was lovely.
"On the Tuesday the novice dressage section was held. Dottie and I were fifth in the 2.2 and sixth in the 2.3. Tommy and I, having a go at the novice for the first time, came 14th in the 2.2 and 18th in the 2.3 against a tough field.
"Wednesday was the combined training section, Tommy and I came fifth overall in the 80cm/Intro class. In the 95cm/prelim class Dottie and I were coming fifth after the dressage phase then we had three rails down in the show jumping leaving us 24th overall.
"Show jumping was on Thursday and Friday on just Tommy. We did the 90cm class, having a rail in both classes on the Thursday, then on Friday in the Grand Prix we made it into the jump off but had a rail down on the last jump.
"It was a wonderful week in which my hard work paid off. I discovered new things to work on while representing Assumption College and I was super happy with my three hard working horses."
What a fabulous effort by Haylea, not only as a super competitor but, most importantly, showing grace under pressure and being a good sport.
Next up is Isabella Robertson-Dixon, who talks about her experience in the dressage:
"Because my horses are only three-years-old I had to borrow my mum's horse Silverdene Pharaoh who is graded medium, which is two levels higher than I have ever competed. He warmed up really well. This gave me the confidence that I needed to get through my first test at that level and to compete in the indoor at Werribee Park for the first time.
"During my second test I had more courage to push for more impulsion which gave me better marks. Overall, the day was a good experience for me and my horse. I finished eighth in the first test and third in the second test which placed me fourth in the Secondary Medium Championship and I am second reserve to represent Victoria at nationals."
Congratulations, Isabella, what a wonderful result, and good luck in making it to nationals.
Leanne Manton - Equestrian Committee
Helen Perez - Equestrian Coordinator