Emily the star at state titles
PONY riding prodigy Emily Downie and her horse Laurel Glen Raphael have claimed first place for Queensland in the 12-15 age division at the New South Wales State Eventing Titles held in Dubbo last weekend.
The 12-year-old was the youngest member of the six-strong Pony Club Association of Queensland side but showed no signs of intimidation en route to a maiden win in Blues territory.
“I was quite happy. I was the youngest, and I wasn’t expecting to come first,” Downie said.
“It was good to win because it was NSW and I’ve never competed against them before.”
The young talent picked up just 49.08 penalty points in the dressage to set up a commanding lead which she maintained through the cross country and showjumping legs without incurring a single penalty.
“The dressage was really good; I could see Mum on the sideline smiling so that gave me a good idea of how I went,” Downie said.
“I was a bit nervous going into the cross country because we weren’t allowed to use a watch like we are in Queensland.”
Downie need not have worried as she finished the course in five minutes and thirty-three seconds, just two seconds shy of the optimum time.
“I was counting in my head and got to about 45 seconds, but after the first jump I forgot where I was up to so I just had to keep riding,” she said.
With a commanding lead and the knowledge that she could knock down three jumps and still win overall heading into the show jump, Downie was confident of victory.
The win capped off a successful carnival for Queensland with four of the six riders placing including two firsts, a second and a third.
The Yeppoon Pony Club rider was impressed with the talent on show over the weekend, but felt that the tougher competition was back home in Queensland.
“We jump a lot higher and do a lot more up here, but it was really good and really competitive.”