Downie is riding high
WITH her passion, drive and experience, it is little wonder Emily Downie has risen to such great heights in her chosen sport, but winning her first eventing (dressage, cross country and show-jumping) state title was no easy task.
The rider and her horse, Laurel Glen Raphael, had to overcome a wet and wild cross country leg at Ingham after overnight rain forced the DPI to check for crocodiles on the course.
“That was a bit scary,” Downie said.
“I had to ride my hardest, a lot of people got eliminated on jump three, it was huge and it was really wide (to go over) and narrow (jump wise).”
After narrowly missing medals in two other events, Downie was determined to grab gold in her specialty discipline.
“I was so frustrated at Ingham, I got fourth in dressage and combined training and I just thought ‘OK, I’ve got to pick my game up for this eventing’,” she said.
The Yeppoon Pony Club rider certainly did and her outstanding performances have been rewarded with selection in the state team to event in Dubbo, New South Wales, in October.
“I’m looking forward to meeting different people and riding for Queensland,” Downie said.
The St Francis student also trains in karate twice a week which helps her meet the physical demands of horse riding.
“It (karate) is hard but it’s made me a lot stronger which helps when I ride,” she said.
Downie rides every day, trains and cares for her horses and competes all around the state most weekends, but her love of the sport has never wavered.
“I don’t care if I don’t win; I just love doing it,” she said.
Nominee: Emily Downie
Local Club: Yeppoon Pony Club
2010: State champion for One Day Eventing, Reserve Champion Rider and winner of the 13 and under showjump (Wowan Show 2010). Winner of: Yeppoon Official Equitation, Yeppoon Official Showjump, Crompton Park official combined training, Crompton Park official dressage, Alton Downs official dressage, 11–12-year-old age group and highest points overall for day (Bororen and Calliope), Yeppoon Pony Club Official One Day Eventing (May/June) and EFA official One Day Eventing.
Profile: Emily Downie was just 18 months old when she first rode a cantering horse; at five she entered her first competition, and at 12 she is an eventing state champion.