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Young riders finish competitive year on high note

Alisha Griffiths and pony Barney won Elementary Overall Champion and placed first in the Freestyle Elementary level at the 2016 Queensland Pony Championship on Saturday.
Alisha Griffiths and pony Barney won Elementary Overall Champion and placed first in the Freestyle Elementary level at the 2016 Queensland Pony Championship on Saturday. Contributed

EQUESTRIAN: Chinchilla horse riders Holly Sturgess, Ashlee Sturgess, Alisha Griffiths and Amilia Schooley were among the select group of 94 competitors from across Queensland to made the long trip south for the 2016 Interschool National Equestrian Titles.

The four girls represented their state in the primary and secondary equestrian grades at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre late last month.

Holly Sturgess competing at the Wandoan Show earlier this year.
Holly Sturgess competing at the Wandoan Show earlier this year. Contributed

Sisters, Holly, 10, and Ashlee Sturgess, 12, competed in the primary showjumping categories- Holly earning 7th place in the 80cm grade, while her sister took out 12th place in the 90cm.

The girls' mother, horse riding instructor Kelly Sturgess, said the entire three days of competition were very tight, with many of the final places determined by no more than a point.

"We would have loved to come home with a ribbon but they had a good time. It was just so close- from first to last place, it was just so close,” Mrs Sturgess said.

"Holly missed out on getting a ribbon by one point. It was very close, and being ten she would have been the youngest down there. Not a lot of kids that are ten jump that high.”

Amilia Schooley and Grande Exito competing in the cross country phase of the eventing at the National Interschool Championships.
Amilia Schooley and Grande Exito competing in the cross country phase of the eventing at the National Interschool Championships. Contributed

Like the Sturgess sisters, Alisha, 13, and Amilia, 15, also represented Queensland at the national titles for the first time at the intensive three day event.

Amilia rode Grande Exito in both the pre-novice eventing and the 1.10m showjump in the secondary school class, where she came 7th and 13th respectively.

Chinchilla girls; Ashlee Sturgess, Alisha Griffith and Holly Sturgess with pony Barney represented Queensland at the National Interschool Equestrian Championships last month.
Chinchilla girls; Ashlee Sturgess, Alisha Griffith and Holly Sturgess with pony Barney represented Queensland at the National Interschool Equestrian Championships last month. Alana Calvert

Alisha rode horse Barney to a place in the Dressage event for the secondary school age group, taking out sixth place.

Last weekend, the young rider also travelled to Gatton for the 2016 Queensland Pony Championships to take on the best riders and ponies in the state for the very last competition of the year where she subsequently won Elementary Overall Champion and placed first in the Freestyle Elementary level- a Dressage test to music- with a score of 73.750%.

Topics:  championships chinchilla equestrian horse events horse riding showjumping sport


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