BERRY showjumper Milly Clarke has had the honour of winning the Bob Monteith Memorial A and B Grade Grand Prix at her local show.
One of the youngest competing, Clarke, 18, won the prestigious local showjumping competition at the Berry Show, held last Friday and Saturday.
“I haven’t really heard of a local winning it for a while and it was my first time I had won a grand prix event, so it was good that it was at a local show. It was a good one to win,” she beamed.
The grand prix event was a two round competition. The first round used a full course and the jumpers had to clear the course and finish under the time allowed.
With Clarke and three other riders completing this feat, four progressed to the second round.
Riding on a shortened course in the second round, riders had to clear the course and finish the fastest.
In what were wet and cold conditions, mistakes were falling thick and fast.
But Clarke showed skill beyond her years, and was the only rider to clear the course and claim the championship ribbon.
Fellow competitor Emma Smith finished second, followed by Janelle Waters and Sandra Kenny.
Clarke said it was a battle of nerves going in to the final. As she was riding third and had witnessed the first two riders make mistakes, she was keen for a clear round.
“Coming up to the last fence I did get a bit nervous because I knew I was clear up until that point, but I had a very good horse underneath me,” she said.
Clarke has only owned her winning horse, Diamond B Jimmychoo, for two months. She said she was really pleased with how well they were working together.
It has been a busy 12 months for Clarke, who was selected as reserve rider on the Australian Young Rider team to contest the Trans Tasman Series in New Zealand. She was selected by Equestrian Australia as the first reserve behind four other champion riders selected to compete overseas.
She was also named on the 2013 Equestrian NSW Young Rider squad which will compete at the Australian championships at the end of the year.
Clarke said her main focus for the year would be to compete in a world cup held in Australia.
“There are world cups held throughout the year and are the biggest Australia does so that is my goal for this year,” she said.