LOFTY HEIGHTS: Matt Kidston clears a jump in the 1.15m heat at the Chinchilla Show showjumping competition on Saturday.
LOFTY HEIGHTS: Matt Kidston clears a jump in the 1.15m heat at the Chinchilla Show showjumping competition on Saturday. Alana Calvert

The highs and lows of showjumping

ON A JUMPS course built by former showjumping Olympian himself Guy Creighton, a legion of showjumping riders and their horses converged for the Chinchilla Show on Friday and Saturday.

Riders took to the course in under-13, U18 and Open classes across 14 different heats and vied for incredibly hard-fought prizemoney.

Chinchilla Show showjumping steward Margaret Whip said while nominations were slightly down from the year before, it was still a thoroughly impressive event that brought out more than a couple of showjumping champions.

"I thought the ground was lovely. It was the fist time we've had such green ground cover," Ms Whip said.

"It was a really good course by Guy Creighton and we really appreciated the sponsors who supported us."

By the final heat of the main event of the competition, the Grand Prix, the number of semi-professional riders had been eliminated down to just four, including five-times Australian Equestrian Coach of the Year, David Finch.

With his grey stallion, Charlemagne Ego Z, David Finch won the Grand Prix and bested fellow Finch Farm team-mate Matt Kidston, with Goondiwindi's Alana Wilson coming in third.

The showjumping competition did receive a blow to the day's proceedings on with an accident just before the Grand Prix event, with accomplished rider and regular Chinchilla Show competitor Gemma Creighton - the daughter of Guy Creighton- sustaining a broken collar-bone during her event.

"Her head connected with the horse's head during the jump," showjumping volunteer Rosie Zerbst said.

"Her head hit his and she lost consciousness and fell to ground.

"She's a great little rider.

"She had horses she took through the six-bar the night before so was going to go into the Grand Prix.

"She comes every year and normally wins a fair bit of money."

Fortunately, after a six-hour hospital stay, Gemma was released from hospital, Chinchilla Show Showjumping steward Margaret Whip was pleased to report.


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